Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Here's Hoping It Won't Be So Long until They're Back

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Here's Hoping It Won't Be So Long until They're Back

Article excerpt

Byline: Thomas Hall

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra at The Sage Gateshead It's been two years since Sweden's national orchestra last visited and I shouldn't think I'm alone in hoping it won't be so long next time - especially if it brings soloists as classy as Viviane Hagner with the 1717 Stradivarius violin she has on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Hagner and the orchestra have been on the road since the beginning of the month and mid-tour seemed a good time to hear them.

They were secure together in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, though I can't imagine them ever giving a merely routine performance.

The Mendelssohn may be the epitome of the romantic violin concerto, with its arching melodies and emotional surges, but it needs a soloist whose vision goes beyond pathos.

A soloist like Hagner, in fact, who can beguile with a liquid amber tone one moment and have you smiling at her evident joy the next.

Conductor Mario Venzago managed the piece superbly, allowing the soloist through, however light the touch of the bow, while sustaining the edge that makes a live performance unique. …

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