Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nikolaj Znaider plays Elgar's Violin Concerto

Last Saturday GH and I heard Nikolaj Znaider play Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor. The Copenhagen native was tall and square-shouldered, and walked on with an easy grace. From where we sat, in the middle of the orchestra, I could see his strong jaw. Without trying to, he commanded the stage.

His performance of Elgar was dignified, passionate and dynamic. The orchestra was so responsive to him that he almost seemed to be co-conducting it with Sir Colin Davis. I also enjoyed Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for Strings (Quartet and Orchestra) and Mozart's Symphony No. 36 in C major, Linz, but Znaider was a revelation.

Yesterday morning, during my commute to school, I listened to his recording of the same violin concerto, with Sir Colin Davis and the Dresden Staatskapelle. The third movement was so grand that I had to halt in wintry Carl Schurz Park to hear it to the end. Hearing the music and watching the sunrise at the same time was an incredible feeling. I felt I could write the world.

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