Vadim Repin: Critical Acclaim

(Last updated on March 9, 2010)

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What the world is saying about Vadim Repin ...

"Simply the best, the most perfect violinist I have ever heard."
Yehudi Menuhin

[2010]

"Guest violinist Vadim Repin performed Beethoven's "Concerto in D Major" with de Waart and the orchestra on the program's second half.

Repin gave a thrilling performance, playing with a silvery, ringing sound that was always present and focused, but never strident. His interpretation of the concerto was built of commanding musical statements, an enormous dynamic range, spectacular pyrotechnics and flawless musical nuance.

He played with heart-on-the-sleeve passion, stepping from a fiery first-movement cadenza, to pick one moment as an example, to a heartbreakingly earnest rendition of the simple lines that follow it.

De Waart and the orchestra supported Repin's colorful take on the piece with playing that ranged from a delicate, introverted delivery of parts of the piece's second movement to an exuberant, energized third movement.

The audience responded with a long, loud standing ovation."
(Beethoven VC with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra/Edo de Waart, Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center For The Performing Arts, Milwaukee, March 6, 2010)
Elaine Schmidt, the Journal Sentinel, March 8, 2010

"This solemn Siberian seduces by stealth. His command of this concerto is so secure, so structurally infallible, that he has no need of wit or whimsy, manner or sentiment, to reach the music's or the listener's heart. His sophisticated phrasing, tightly coiled passages of figuration and closely attentive ear to the playing of the Royal Philharmonic had a cumulative effect that drew the audience in ever more compellingly."
(Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Dutoit, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK, January 20, 2010)
Hilary Finch, The Times, January 22, 2010

[2009]

Vadim Repin played Bruch's Concerto No. 1 in G minor, opus 26 like a titan of the violin, albeit a titan on a warhorse. ...
Repin plays with a big broad sound in the Oistrakh tradition and has astonishing power and precision, playing not just through the straining of sinews but as though the force of his whole body informed the shape of each gesture.
(Bruch VC1 with London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski, Opera House, Sydney, October 7, 2009)
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, October 9, 2009

"What will stick in everyone's minds, however, is Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole - an important, even ground-breaking performance, with Vadim Repin as soloist. Initially, this seemed an odd combination: Repin's reputation for high seriousness sits uneasily with a work that many regard as virtuoso fluff. Repin simply put meaning back into the score by making each phrase part of a complex emotional narrative. Its orchestral opulence suited Marin, and by the end, we felt we had been listening more to a deeply felt tone poem than a show-stopping concerto. A revelation."
(Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Vadim Repin/Philharmonia/Marin, Royal Festival Hall, London, Feb. 17, 2009)
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, February 19, 2009

[2008]

"Violinist's encore worth waiting for
Repin, Orchestra top off a revelatory Sibelius
No one can accuse Vadim Repin of jumping the gun on an encore. Unlike some other soloists, whose encores are not quite justified by the enthusiasm or persistence of the audience, Repin disappeared for what seemed like a long minute after his Sibelius Violin Concerto Thursday night with the Philadelphia Orchestra, leaving the audience in a state of sustained anticipation.

Maybe he was backstage gathering up two or three other violinists for an assist, since that's the only reasonable explanation for the flood of notes in Paganini's Introduction and Variations on "Nel cor piu non mi sento" from Paisiello's "La molinara."

It was Repin alone, of course, in the 10-minute-plus work, whose simple tune is a flimsy excuse to unleash just about every special string trick in the book - and sometimes several at once. Pizzicato, the common act of plucking rather than bowing, is heavily featured, but Paganini didn't stop there. There are pizzicato notes played with the left hand while the right continues to bow; pizzicato trills; chromatic runs so fast they blur; split-second jumps from one extreme register to another; and a dozen other techniques too dangerous to mention in a family newspaper.

It would have come off as a cheap parlor trick had the Siberian violinist not played it with such alarming dexterity and precision, and after a Sibelius concerto of revelation. Repin is an extraordinarily fine musician, the kind of personality who can turn on a dime to meet the expressive potentialities of a triumphal phrase or introspective narrative. He has a sweet, intense sound with a lot of presence. It seemed possible, on this night, that in terms of technical polish and force of personality, Repin's equals worldwide would total a small handful."
(Sibelius VC with Philadelphia Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, April 25, 2008)
Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 2008 New!

"From the soloist's tender entry in the opening movement to his dervishlike sweep through the diabolical Scherzo to his intense and caressing musings in the high register of his 1736 Guarneri violin in the finale, Repin played like a man possessed, both sweet and muscular of tone, his lyrical command at once finely poised and intense.

Gergiev backed him with orchestral support that probed deeply into the chamber-music-like workings of Prokofiev's dreamy score.

A long and rapturous ovation saluted Repin, leaving him no choice but to play an encore, and a rarity at that: Paganini's Introduction and Variations on Paisiello's "Nel cor piu non mi sento." Jaw-dropping virtuosity is all this salon barnburner has on its mind, and jaws dropped all over the hall as Repin tore through its outrageous bravura effects as casually as you or I might brush lint off our lapels."
(Prokofiev VC1 with Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev, Symphony Center, Chicago, April 11, 2008)
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2008

"Guest soloist Vadim Repin took Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 and spun it out before both orchestra and audience as if it were his alone. I have watched Repin since his area debut at Ravinia in 1994; in the last two years, he has been fulfilling the exceptional promise that he showed then at 23. He is a musical and a technical wizard.

Repin's complete command of his instrument and the concerto banished any concerns about the banality of Prokofiev's orchestration. As with the concerto, the feat of his encore of Paganini's Intro-duction, Theme and Variations on "Nel cor piu non mi sento" from Paisiello's "La bella molinara," showed Repin as an heir to the great Nathan Milstein."
(Prokofiev VC1 with Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev, Symphony Center, Chicago, April 11, 2008)
Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times, April 12, 2008

[2007]

"You've heard the Beethoven Violin Concerto before, but this one was as close to heaven as it gets.

In an unusual Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra program that brought the soloist out last, Vadim Repin's performance of Beethoven on Thursday was a blend of profound inspiration and sheer beauty of sound.

Born in 1971, Repin is one of a generation of spectacular violinists to come out of Siberia, and his glorious sound and relaxed technique hark back to the golden age of violin playing.

From the first note, Repin's sound on his 1736 Guarneri del Gesu violin was arresting - pure, fluid and amazingly plush. He took his time and seemed to revel in each stroke of the bow, allowing his golden, enveloping sound to linger just a bit longer.

The violinist took a genial pace in the first two movements. Phrases were poetic, beautifully shaded and nothing was glossed over. His cadenzas, by Fritz Kreisler, were feats of effortless fireworks and mesmerizing control.

He smiled through the finale, and Jarvi and the orchestra made excellent partners."
(Beethoven VC, Music Hall, Cincinnati with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi, October 11, 2007
Janelle Gelfand, The Enquirer, October 12, 2007

"He was joined by 36-year-old Russian violin virtuoso Vadim Repin in a scintillating rendition of Sergei Prokofiev's 1935 Violin Concerto No. 2.
What began as a distant and icy first movement melted into sunny springtime as both soloist and orchestra tiptoed into the second movement's dance-like rhythms with grace and panache. Then it was an all-out torrent of notes for the hyperkinetic finish."
(Prokofiev VC2, Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, October 3, 2007)
John Terauds, The Star.com, October 4, 2007

"Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, with Vadim Repin as soloist, emerged as an engrossing fantasy of restless rhythm, shifting moods, bittersweet lyricism and grotesquerie. The impressive Mr. Repin played with his typical combination of Russian intensity and Zenlike calm."
(Prokofiev VC1, London Symphony Orchestra/Gergiev, Barbican Centre, London, June 13, 2007)
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, June 16, 2007

"It's not easy to make a repertory chestnut like Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto come across as the audaciously original work it seemed at its 1881 premiere. But this is what Mr. Muti and his brilliant soloist, Vadim Repin, achieved. Mr. Muti is a classicist at his core, concerned above all else with textural clarity, sonority and structure, given to powerful expression but suspicious of emotional overstatement. Tchaikovsky too, for all his wrenching Romanticism, was a classicist at heart, something Mr. Muti might have been trying to suggest with this performance.

The introductory theme in the orchestra was laid out in beautifully contoured phrases. As the music built in restless anticipation of the violin entrance, there was crackling incisiveness in the playing, but no superficial theatrics. When Mr. Repin began the first solo phrase, he invested the music with calm nobility and burnished tone, as if to say to the orchestra, ''Settle down, I am taking charge, at least for now.''

Mr. Repin, born in 1971 in Siberia, is a proudly Russian artist. Yet at a time when the world is getting smaller, and national musical heritages are losing distinctiveness, I am not sure which aspects of Mr. Repin's playing can be deemed Russian. His tone is plush and full-bodied, but also focused and at times affectingly cool. He seems the violinist equivalent of a pianist who plays with a minimum of pedal and does not indulge in too much rubato.

It was refreshing to hear this volatile concerto played with such Apollonian vigor. Even during the vehement outbursts of the first movement, he made every note speak. The slow movement was all the more poignant for the restraint and subdued intensity that Mr. Repin brought to it, abetted by Mr. Muti and the supple orchestra.

The finale, at breakneck tempo, would have seemed dangerous had Mr. Repin's playing not been so awesomely controlled, and had Mr. Muti not cued every off-beat orchestra chord with such unperturbed precision."
(Tchaikovsky VC, Avery Fisher Hall, New York with New York Philharmonic/Riccardo Muti, January 18, 2007)
The New York Times, January 20, 2007

[2006]

"His performance with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra of Jean Sibelius's violin concerto was breathtaking in its beauty and power. His tone, from the first note to the last, was pure and beguiling, covering a spectacularly wide dynamic range and showing infinite variations in colour. While his control was staggering, technical precision was never achieved at the expense of musical drama.
The first movement cadenzas had sweep but also fine detail in the shaping of each gesture. The finale was fast and driven but each note was gloriously clear, articulated by amazingly flexible bowing and an immaculate left hand. Repin's blend of poetry and fire created a rare performance: compelling, intense and moving."
(Sibelius VC with West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Pietari Inkinen, Perth Concert Hall, Perth, October 21-22, 2006)
The Australian, October 24, 2006

"Vadim Repin was the soloist in Sibelius's Violin Concerto, whose towering lyricism was accompanied by Gergiev's extremes of speed and phrasing."
(Sibelius VC with Kirov Orchestra/Gergiev, RAH, London, August 19, 2006)
The Guardian, August 21 2006

"From Repin music becomes reflective and yet impassioned, without hubbub or histrionics. There is energy and bite ? present and virile, but for the most part held judiciously in reserve until the occasion demands. Alec Guinness defined effective acting as the art of saying and doing the least. I would echo this for Repin. His vigour in the first movement ? which proceeded at a steady pace and enabled Repin to take passages of hair-raising difficulty surely and effectively, with no need to rush the gates merely for the sake of virtuosity ? his all-pervading sadness in the second, no less deep and affecting for being gentle (if marred by applause that started before the music had finished!), and his rasping, leaping energy in the finale: all will stay with me far longer than the cavorting of many hyperactive soloists."
(Sibelius VC with Kirov Orchestra/Gergiev, RAH, London, August 19, 2006)
The Classical source, August 19, 2006

"The two men, born a year apart -- the violinist in 1971, the pianist in 1972 -- make a strong pair. They listen to each other, and both ally tremendous Russian chops with an aristocratic temperament. Neither musician is a showman, and each seems more interested in exploring the personalities of the composers than in making a parade of his own.
Repin was elegant even in gypsy music like the Bartok Rhapsodie, a Brahms Hungarian Dance, and an unidentified encore evoking Central Europe. His Schubert was polished to a perfection that sometimes blinded rather than revealed, but in the Franck, good taste ignited into fire. The novelty was ''Fratres," Arvo Part's popular exercise in creating a meditative space through the medieval rose window of holy minimalism."
(Repin and Lugansky recital, Boston, April 8, 2006)
The Boston Globe, April 12, 2005

"The musicianship was extraordinary for its depth of understanding and utter command. The phrases were unusually supple; the tone varied from sweet to edgy; the line long; the architecture coherent.."
(Repin and Lugansky recital, Seattle, March 22, 2006)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 24, 2006

[2005]

"Vadim Repin was the soloist in the violin concerto. In the first two movements, the subtle, sad world of Onegin was evoked, with Repin's musical artistry overriding technical considerations. In the touching Canzonetta, Repin's opening suggested pensive improvisation. It's rare to see an orchestra applaud a soloist as hard as the audience."
(Tchaikovsky VC with LSO/Michael Tilson Thomas, Barbican, London, November 10, 2006)
The Independent, November 15, 2005

"Under the magnificent columns of the Baalbek Roman ruins, a solemn looking man, wearing simple black pants and shirt stepped onto the stage with a small violin in his hand.
The crowd of hundreds which had gathered at the Baalbek festival on Saturday night fell immediately silent as the internationally acclaimed Vadim Repin touched the strings of his violin. As he played on, a captivated audience was treated to a night of Mozart, Villa-Lobos and Tchaikovsky, accompanied by his imposing Festival of Vilnius orchestra.
With a bow in one hand and the violin fixed determinedly under his chin, Repin stunned his audience with some of the great symphonies of history.
As Repin performed a piece by the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, he seemed to demonstrate his love and devotion for all those composers who had left their mark on the world of the music.
The Russian born virtuoso and his orchestra made a magnificent combination, synchronizing their instruments as if one.
Throughout the performance, Repin's violin appeared to be almost a natural extension of himself as he swayed with closed eyes to the heavenly notes pouring out across the ruins.
At the end of each piece, Repin delivered a courteous bow to his audience, which responded each time with a standing ovation and demands for more.
By the end of the night, it was easy to understand why Repin has been dubbed the "greatest living violinist" by many European newspapers and critics.
The orchestra was equally enthralling, and its brilliance ensured a masterful union with Repin."
(Mozart VC5 with Vilnius Festival Orchestra/Repin, Lebanon, July 30, 2006)
The Daily Star, August 1, 2005

"The first hit came at the start of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's season-closing program, when Vadim Repin, one of today's most gifted and engaging violinists, took hold of Tchaikovsky's over-used Violin Concerto and injected fresh blood directly into its veins.
Next came the premiere of a concerto dedicated to Repin and commissioned by the BSO. It did what precious few pieces of contemporary music do - light a fire under the audience. With good reason. Daniel Brewbaker's Playing and Being Played has the right stuff.
In a single, compact movement, Brewbaker's concerto packs a remarkable amount of thematic material that is developed clearly and arrestingly. From its misty opening measures to a breathless dash for the finish line, the score travels through a variety of moods with a restless energy that, even at the slowest, quietest moments, exudes a powerful tension.
At one of those soft spots, a lyrical theme, simple and direct, emerges from the violin. Many a composer, past or present, would envy its haunting pull.
Repin played the heck out of the heartily applauded new work, while Judd assured smooth interaction and effective balances between the soloist and the taut ensemble."
(Tchaikovsky VC, World premiere of Brewbaker's Concerto with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/James Judd, Baltimore, June 16, 17, 18, 19, 2006 )
The Baltimore Sun, June 18, 2005

"Muti's approach was in perfect harmony with Vadim Repin's in Beethoven's Violin Concerto. Repin's tone is a thing of wonder, with a golden aura to it that abjures any hint of harshness, and a range of subtle colouring that he can apply throughout the spectrum, from the softest to the weightiest of utterances.
His playing here was characteristically of unostentatious concentration and seriousness in a deeply pondered interpretation, powerful, virile and, in the slow movement, of seraphic beauty."
(Beethoven VC with Philharmonia/Muti, London, January 30, 2006)
The Telegraph, February 1, 2005

[2004]

"Yuri Temirkanov was on the podium for the orchestra's Russian bash this year, which opened with a performance of Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina prelude. This - under a laid-back beat - was imbued with bated-breath expectancy. Then came high drama, courtesy of Vadim Repin in Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto. This peerless soloist spun a high silver thread in the opening nocturne, while the strings and woodwind laid a bed of warm colour below. As the work developed, the orchestra seemed more inspired by his lead than by that of Temirkanov. To this noble work, full of dramatic contrasts, Repin brought by turns a relaxed lyricism, a delicately honeyed tone and furiously hurtling energy: it was greatly to its credit that the band stayed the pace."
(Shostakovich VC1 with Verbier Festival Orchestra/Temirkanov, Verbier, July 19, 2006)
The Independent, July 29, 2004

"Compte-rendu : la reincarnation de David Oistrakh ; Vadim Repin joue le Premier Concerto pour violon de Chostakovitch Une Ouverture de Rousslan et Ludmilla sans e nergie ne laissait pas augurer d'un accompagnement a ce point approximatif et minimaliste pour le Premier Concerto pour violon de Chostakovitch. Heureusement, Repin ne se laissa pas distraire par la paleur du National et l'indifference de Masur, et des le Nocturne introductif, son archet souverain convoquait le fantome d ’Oistrakh. Sans conteste, Repin est bien le premier violoniste de notre temps. Un scherzo assez confus l'amena a regarder les altos et les violoncelles pour les remettre dans le rythme, Masur n'y parvenant pas, de plus en plus handicape par l’ inertie relative de son bras gauche. La cadence produisit un choc, tant le jeu du siberien exalta le desespoir de cette confession intime de Chostakovitch qui se masque derriere une virtuosite jamais sollicitee : il ne s'agit pas de briller ici, il s'agit de survivre. Le final laissa le violoniste encore bien seul, mais il parvint a enflammer progressivement l'orchestre. En seconde partie Masur retrouvait tout son art pour la rare orchestration des Tableaux d'une Exposition realisee en 1955 par Serguei Gortchakov, qui faisait si souvent songer a Prokofiev. Pari gagne, tout l'orchestre se retrouvait enfin au diapason d'une ?uvre qu'il semblait rede couvrir, tant il est vrai que les voir interpreter la version Ravel tendait a la routine. Et Masur parvint a varier les climats et a deployer."
(Shostakovich VC1 with Orchestre National/de France, Paris, April 8, 2004)
Le Journal. April 8, 2004

"It began with the Brahms Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77. Music seems to be violinist Vadim Repin's true mother tongue. He plays fluently, with a wide-ranging vocabulary. His amazing technique is combined with intense feeling for an outstanding whole. He's as adept at lush lyricism as he is with instrumental fireworks; at times, his playing seemed incandescent."
(Brahms VC with St. Louis SO/David Robertson, St. Louis, April 23/25, 2004)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 25, 2004

[2003]

"Masur's program with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Thursday night at Orchestra Hall did not venture far from his typical fare. His reading was mixed in one of the works, but in the "Violin Concerto No. 1" of Shostakovich he provided carefully considered support for a remarkable violinist who gave one of the most memorable performances here in recent seasons. The parade of world-class Russian violinists continues unabated, Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin being the two most notable in recent years. It was the latter who graced the Orchestra Hall stage in a work premiered by the Russian legend David Oistrakh. Repin's reading was remarkable for its understanding of those Russian traits so central to this work, yet he did not imitate a specific model or mentor. Many musicians seem to confront a score from the outside looking in. They assault the work with an eye to demonstrating as much of themselves as the work will tolerate. Repin is that rare artist who starts from within -- he begins with a deep, complex personal search for the composer's intent, then harnesses his unlimited skills toward realizing this vision. In the opening bars, he spun a delicate, glassy tone tinted with a tight, narrow vibrato that seemed at first to be an unwanted manifestation of opening jitters. It soon became clear that this was his intention -- his tentative, reticent, almost feeble tone conjured a haunting nocturnal mist. The sound blossomed over a period of several minutes, his legendary Stradivarius "Ruby" filling the hall with measure after measure of sumptuous sound. His repeated heavy down-bows in the scherzo (a Shostakovich trademark) had a lean, sharp edge, minus the brutal pounding often heard in such passages. The third movement -- Passacaglia -- became in Repin's hands an extended aria from a latent opera seria, with prayerful utterances and cries of anguish. He added more teeth to his sound in the finale, the blazing octaves and stratospheric leaps earning a richly deserved standing ovation."
(Shostakovich VC1 with Chicago SO/Kurt Masur, November 20, 2003)
Chicago Tribune - November 22, 2003

"In concerts of mainstream music, we are looking for an interpreter for whom the black dots in the score spark a performance that …brings something fresh to deepen our awareness and make the experience of the music exceptional. This year, there have been several instances where this has happened. In November, Daniele Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra made a similar impact in a concert of Smetana, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, admittedly with the inspired Vadim Repin as soloist ... If, as here, the musicians are galvanised by a strong and discerning personality, then the ears of even the most seasoned concert-goers are going to prick up and take notice."
(Tchaikovsky VC, RPO/Daniele Gatti, RFH LONDON, November 9, 2003)
The Daily Telegraph, December 27, 2003

"The remarkable artistry of Vadim Repin was the focus of attention last night in a performance of Brahms's Violin Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sakari Oramo.
The pedestrian orchestral opening soon gave way to a far greater power when Repin entered with his first flourish. Broad paragraphs of phrasing, concentrated seriousness of intent and the lyrical beauty of Repin's timbre underpinned an interpretation of tremendous stature. There was a brilliance to the cadenza in the first movement, Repin opting for the rarely played one by Leopold Auer; and there was a firm gipsy thrust to the finale. All this was drawn into a reading of unassailable integrity and absorbing musicality."
(Brahms VC with CBSO/Oramo, London (BBC PROMS))
The Daily Telegraph, August 29, 2003

"Best Instrumental Performance with Orchestra: Vadim Repin One of the sacrosanct principles of great musical performance is that playing with abandon requires an intensive degree of control. The discipline of Vadim Repin in this extraordinary performance of the Sibelius concerto with a deeply committed Cincinnati Symphony whipped into an absolute frenzy of despair by the charismatic Paavo Jarvi was remarkable. While the ensemble strings were passionately tearing into the piece, exploring its lower depths of Scandinavian darkness, Mr. Repin chose to communicate his own sense of wintry melancholia by standing as unflinchingly as a guard at Buckingham Palace and navigating the frosty landscape with total control, superb tone, amazing dexterity and formidable expressiveness. Often as a critic, one must separate the technical from the poetic, as most artists have a proclivity for one or the other; with Vadim Repin, the technique and the emotion are as one. In this particular case, adjectives like chilly and emotional are actually complimentary, a fact that only true Sibelius fans can comprehend."
The Third Annual Lully Awards 06/03/2003

[2002]

Vadim Repin began his beautifully programmed violin evening with a splendid piece for warming-up: Schumann's Sonata in A Minor. The 31-year-old Russian artist played it principally in a noble, lyrical way, without overloading its content; only in the very rapid final movement did he let his brilliance shine out. At the piano his compatriot Nikolai Lugansky, one year his junior, was completely in accord with him and played on the highest level as well.
Naturally Prokofiev's Violin Sonata in F Minor received the virtuoso treatment. From the expressive side - the "Russian wildness" - to the tender, tension-filled cantabile, everything was presented in a lively, virtuoso manner which was, at the same time, rock solid. There was absolute certainty of fingering, an elegant bow technique and a sonorous tone with neither any hint of obtrusiveness nor fashionable understatement. Lugansky rivaled him for beauty of tone - and Repin played a Stradivarius after all!
Anyway, glory and honor to his name! Here is a musician who has the courage to also play the unwieldy, the unpopular. Otherwise he would not have played Schonberg'sFantasy for violin and piano op. 47. Yet if twelve-tone music is presented so lucidly and, together with Lugansky, so transparently and with such a fine musical mind, such "truth does not ask too much of people".
Afterwards they went back to the early Romantic period. With elfin fingers, Lugansky began to play Schubert's Fantasy in C Major (including variations on Oh du Entriss'ne mir). Repin responded, as if meditating, until the entire performance was filled with light and brilliance. What an ending! (Light-filled brilliance)
Wienerzeitung, 27 November 2002 (Herbert Muller, translated by E. Lumpe, edited by Valour)

It is no surprise that the young violinist Vadim Repin should be an idiomatic interpreter of Prokofiev's First Violin Sonata. Born in Siberia, Repin has built his solo career on the Russian romantic repertoire, and is an acclaimed performer of the Prokofiev and Shostakovich concertos. His recital at the Wigmore Hall with pianist Alexander Melnikov revealed that he is just as impressive a chamber musician as he is a concerto soloist.
(Repin/Melnikov recital in Wigmore Hall, September 24, 2002)
The Guardian, September, 2002

"No matter how often the [Tchaikovsky] Violin Concerto and Fifth Symphony come out sounding like tired old warhorses, there is always room for performances on the level that Yakov Kreizberg and Vadim Repin produced at the Festival Hall."
(Tchaikovsky VC, Repin/Philharmonia/Kreizberg, June 30, 2002)
The Times, July 2, 2002

"The Berlin Philharmonic plays superbly for Mariss Jansons, and the total artistry of Vadim Repin only adds to the total effect. This is the first Waldbuhne concert where the effect of the Berliner Luft (the German equivalent of our Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 at the Proms) makes less impact than I was expecting. This is primarily because of what has gone before - sheer magic!. Repin's playing of the Paganini has to be watched to be believed, and the audience, quite justifiably, go wild at the end, causing him to repeat the piece, this time modified for even greater effect, enchanting all present including orchestra and conductor."
(Repin/BPO/Jansons at Waldbuhne, June 23, 2002)
DVD review on the Music Web

"Repin is every inch the serious artist. Although he has only just turned 30, his playing has long been notable for the way that his impeccable technique is allied to an acutely sensitive interpretative mind.
His is a sound that is distinctive and distinguished, marked as it is by immaculate control and purity of tone, and coupled with an inner passion that seems to communicate directly with the heart of the music, firing it with a vital expressive force.
So it was in this Shostakovich. The broad span of the slow first movement, the solemnly reflective passacagalia and the tough, extended cadenza were governed by an unswerving structural logic. There was certainly no mere striving for effect here, but rather a seasoned understanding of the concerto's symphonic credentials.
As the first movement built towards its aching climax, Repin's perfectly placed multiple stopping of chords and counterpoint heightened the tension and strengthened the music's shape and purpose. At the same time, he maintained the essential lustre of his violin timbre.
Even in the more incisively edged scherzo and the final burlesque, Repin's ripeness never lost its bloom, but it also encompassed a whole spectrum of sharply observed character. This was an all-embracing performance, unquestionably one of the most absorbing and exciting that the concerto has ever had.
While Repin, as soloist, was the protagonist here and the one who gave the interpretation its particular temperament, the Concertgebouw was with him all the way, matching him in terms of creating musical atmosphere and providing a context of both power and colour."
(Shostakovich VC1 with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Cchailly, RFH London, March 10, 2002)
The Daily Telegraph, March 12, 2002

"Triumph of a Violinist - a star from Novosibirsk ...There followed a performance of rarely heard and therefore memorable quality. The tall, thirty-year-old Vadim Repin, played the violin concerto by Sibelius. He is not out to charm the public but is an incredibly intense master, in full control of his mental and violinistic faculties.....Such volume of tone, such glorious warmth, such abundance of melodious sound as Repin brought forth from his violin have not been heard since the days of David Oistrakh; this is violin-playing as sensuous experience. Moreover, the audience is captivated by the lucid clarity of his playing, which is the result of perfect co-ordination between bow-arm and fingering. There is no wavering or smudging. He rounds off each phrase, enjoys each development to the full; he rarely forces the tempo, and he displays an extraordinary feeling for the importance and tempo of harmonic and dynamic development. Consequently, this frequently played concerto sounded as if it was performed for the first time; a contributing factor was that Mehta - who, incidentally, conducted without a score throughout the evening - and his orchestra, despite some uneven patches, accompanied the soloist with marked attention. When the audience continued to applaud after his performance, Vadim Repin played Paganini's variations on 'Carnevale di Venezia' so casually and cunningly that repeated groans of rapture in the face of such virtuosity could be heard in the auditorium. Still the applause did not cease, and the audience was satisfied only after hearing Repin play Bach, a calm yet passionate interpretation."
(Sibelius VC with Bayerische Rundfunk/Zubin Mehta, Munich National Theatre, Munich, Feburuary 4/5, 2002)
Suddeutsche Zeitung, February 6, 2002 (excerpts)

[2001]

"Repin is the finest violinist of his generation - and I am not forgetting his fellow-Zakhar Bron pupil, Maxim Vengerov. Repin has it all: a facilitating technique, a shimmering tone, an individual personality and bags to say about the music"
The Independent (UK), August 2001

"... another of the baby-faced killer-violinists on the international scene today. He gave a megastar performance, with huge, throbbing tone, expansive phrasing and spectacular virtuosity'
The Boston Globe, August 2001

"Repin manages to bridge youth impetuosity with a beautiful and achieved tone, chamber musical self-restraint with orchestral substance". (Strauss Sonata for violin and piano Op. 18 with Boris Berezovsky)
Fono Forum, May 2001

"His playing is breathtaking..."
Classic FM Magazine, May 2001

"The olympian tone of the violonist, magnified by his "Ruby" Stradivarius, do wonders (...)".
Le Monde de la Musique, April 2001

DIAPASON D'OR : "Their common energy, their innate sense of great melodic lines as well are their concern for the detail, make of this interpretation one of the most accomplished of the whole work's discography".
(Strauss Sonata for violin and piano Op. 18 with Boris Berezovsky)
Diapason, February 2001

"Vadim Repin is one of the very few whose fascinating charm, elegance and cleverness haven't been affected by the frequentation of major stages and prestigious awards ".
Liberation, Paris, January 2001

" Vadim Repin has been compared with his glorious fellow elders - Menuhin, Stern, Oistrakh - but his dazzling technique, his impeccable tone, his sound coming from who knows where singles him out of them. Sensitive, elegant, subtle, also profound, generous and tender.... ".
Le Monde, Paris, January 2001

[2000]

"My nomination for CD immortality is the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto as played by Vadim Repin on 1 August. He dominates the platform, much as Ysaye must have done a century ago; and he plays with such authority and control that, as you are listening, you cannot imagine the music going any other way. That is one mark of a great artist. Another is the sound he produces, true and pure even when under pressure".
(Shostakovich VC Nr 1 with Royal Philharmonic/Gatti in the Royal Albert Hall, London's Proms).
The Strad, November 2000

"This computer-made solo part is cut for violin acrobats such as Vadim Repin. The Russian is one of the most agile among them. Repin let the Presto-Finale swing so brilliantly that it had to be encored after tremendous applause". (Adams VC with Houston Symphony Orchestra/Eschenbach).
Die Welt, Hamburg, August 2000

"Repin is an intense rather than a spectacular musician. He takes a straightforward lyrical line but his tone is urgent and vibrant; the compressed energy of his playing eventually breaks out in focused, propulsive quick music rather than overheated effusion".
(Bruch VC No 1 with Philharmonia Orchestra/Zinman, Royal Festival Hall, London)
The Independent, April 2000

"Beauty of tone, security of intonation, and certainty of purpose".
(Gubaidulina "Offertorium" with Boston Symphony Orchestra/Bychkov, Symphony Hall, Boston)
The Boston Globe, March 2000

"With his "Tutta Bravura" recording, Vadim Repin stages himself as an astonishing virtuoso".
Fono Forum, February 2000

"Young Grand Master of his discipline... enchants with youthful fire and succeeds gloriously with his violin playing."
Klassik Heute, February 2000

"Repin's Tzigane: we find that this is one of the best, if not the best interpretation which has been made yet."
Pizzicato, February 2000

[1999]

"His previous recordings already showed that Repin is a fully accomplished artist in the line of the great Russian violin tradition".
Diapason, November 1999

"There's no doubt that Vadim Repin is a powerful virtuoso. He accomplishes the most complex violinistic tasks in great style, with complete confidence and precision, allowing him to offer an interpretation of Tzigane that's daring in its extremes of tone and tempo, with a maximum of excitement and dramatic force ".
Gramophone, November 1999

"There are good reasons to count Vadim Repin as the best violinist living today: his breathtaking technical perfection, his absolute good taste, which ensures that he avoids all vulgar virtuoso showing off, and his wonderful tone"
Tagesspiegel, October 1999

"A virtuoso without virtuoso's mannerism, an artist whose art seems to stick to the deep part of his soul. Brilliant the way he serenely performs the wide cantilenes in the first movement, the way he champions the technical snags. And then the cadenza in the third movement: focused and sharp to the end. Only from the liberating finale one dares to breathe again ".
Neue Zurcher Zeitung, September 1999

"Vadim Repin may be from cold Siberia, but his performances are so hot they could melt the strings of his 1708 Stradivarius"
Time Out, New York, August 1999

"Better playing of the violin - stupendous, in fact, took place at the Hollywood Bowl last week. Vadim Repin's account of Shostakovich first violin concerto with the LA Philharmonic"
Los Angeles Weekly, August 1999

"Violinist Repin brings daring intensity to Shostakovich"
Los Angeles Times, August 1999

"... the finest live performance of the work  that I have heard.  Repin's masterly touch was evident from his dramatic opening flourish to the mixture of chordal vim, silky insouciance and sparkling swagger that made of the finale a gloriously affirmative game. He consistently displayed  poise, evenness of tone, wholehearted commitment and a deeply poetic overview...this was a rendition of stupendous quality and one which truly transfigured the bleakness of a winter evening."
(Brahms VC with Concertgebouw/Chailly in the RFH, London)
The Strad, May 1999

"Vadim Repin was the heroic fiddler, summoning superhuman reserves of virtuosity, sensitivity and stamina".
(Adams VC with Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Adams)
The Chicago Tribune, May 1999

"The unsettled, virtually non-stop solo violin line of Adams concerto is the opposite of Brahm's soaring lyricism. But Repin rode Adam's concerto now hectic, now wandering musical waves with authoritative intensity".
The Chicago Sun Times, May 1999

"Meticulously clear definition in Beethoven's Violin Concerto generated a heady spaciousness, Repin's pure virile sound and virtuosic cadenzas sustaining intensity. Stunning to the last....".
Birmingham Post, May 1999

"Vadim Repin gave a razor sharp performance of Sibelius' Violin Concerto".
(Halle Orchestra/Kent Nagano)
The Sunday Telegraph, May 1999

"Repin is very much a player in the old virtuoso tradition - bags of temperament, scorching commitment negociating the most potentially vacuous of technical minefields, a magically conveyed glint in the eye for the con espressivo melodies, and a technique to die for in such as the wrist-crippling Wieniaswski Original Theme Variations".
Classic CD, April 1999

"The tone drawn from his 'Ruby' Stradivarius was luxurious, and his pointing of phrases was always apt" (CBSO/Rattle at RFH London)
The Daily Telegraph, March 99

"Repin is one of the most promising violinists of his generation, as was clear from his dazzling finger work and agile bow arm in last night's performance of Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole... Repin's infinitely flexible and pliant sound wove its way through beautifully subtle phrases... had the audience on its feet with playing that fully deserves the adjective 'virtuoso'".
Seattle Times, February 1999

"Possessing a magisterial technique and a finely nuanced palette.... Repin played this familiar work (Brahms VC) with refined phrasing, interpretive maturity and a dignity beyond his years. .... it was a wonderful performance fully deserving of the rousing ovations."
Chicago Tribune, February 9199

"Repin returned to the stage after the concerto. for a toss off a set of jaw-dropping variations on The Carnival of Venice'.  It is going to be hard to return to reality after an evening like this."
The Toronto Star, February 1999

"Repin displays an almost faultless technical ability, undreamed-of surety of touch, the readiness to take artistic risks and... the well-balanced inner calm of a great musician."
Bayerische Rundfunk 'Kultur aktuell' February 1999

"A virtuoso with absolute technical assurance, Repin was also an extremely expressive player. We got the sense from him that expressivity was not something he applied, but something that evicted from him; he was merely revealing it.   He had a huge dynamic range, and a clear and pearly tone to his top register that sang out at any dynamic."
(Brahms VC/Concergebouw/Chailly)
Toronto, The Globe and Mail, February 1999

"Repin and his friends set the Auditorium du Louvre alight"...With Tzigane, the summit has been reached: an unequalled blend of restrained sensuality and unrestrained elegance, a sense of colour, of the unexpected surprise. It is all played out in the very roots of gypsy music, that irresistible alternation between throbbing expressiveness and diabolic dance".
Le Monde, January 1999

"At only 27 he displays the wealth of his ancestry, combining the radiant velocity of David Oistrakh, the heart-rending humanity of Fritz Kreisler, and the joyful elegance of Jascha Heifetz.
Energy in its most refined state".
Télérama, January 1999

"With a high tension virtuosity that is as brilliant as it is profound, Vadim Repin holds the keys to a universe inhabited by forms that comes from afar and transcends ordinary desires"
Figaro Étudiant, January 1999

"He displays the wealth of his ancestry, combining the radiant velocity of David Oistrakh, the heart-rending humanity of Fritz Kreisler, and the joyful elegance of Jascha Heifetz. Energy in its most refined state."
Telerama, January 1999

"Vadim Repin is fulfilling his promise to become one of the most complete, most inspired and best integrated violinists of his generation"
Diapason, January 1999

"Once again Repin proves to be one of the most enthralling violinists of his generation, with an economy of means and absence of show reminiscent of Milstein or Oistrakh"
Le Monde de la Musique, January 1999

"Repin is recognised as the foremost violinist to have emerged from Russia since the days of Heifetz, Milstein and David Oistrakh"
St Louis, Post-Dispatch, 1999

"He is proving to be one of the most complete performers of his generation and will undoubtedly take his place among the ?lite of the coming century. His instrumental authority, generous tone and refined eloquence in all repertoires are among his greatest gifts."
Diapason, January 1999

[1998]

"Repin played Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with flair, panache, elan and striking technical command"
(Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta).
Los Angeles Times, December 1998

"After only 3 or 4 seasons and some half dozen recordings on the ERATO label, the French public has recognised in Vadim Repin one the most highly gifted violinists of the end of the century."
Diapason, September 1998

"Repin shows so much sensibility and respect that are not to expected from the Russian school. His playing is full of colors, dynamics, finesses and of a magical view in the formal construction ".
Salzburger Nachrichten, June 1998

"Each note, each phrase seems to come from the soul with an extremely touching sincerity. A new Mozartian of great stature is born".
Repertoire, June 1998

"Repin demonstrates violin playing at the highest level, his musicianship is unbelievably structured, the tone of his Stradivarius positively glows."
Klassik, June 1998

"Repin's dazzling technique had most of the audience in awe..".
(Brahms VC with NSO Washington)
The Strad, May 1998

"..... his playing is both strong and supple, with natural phrasing and virtuosity to take your breath away... an incredibly consistant performance"
Le Figaro, March 1998

"Rarely have the forty minutes of Tchaikovsky's A minor trio passed so rapidly or pleasurably for me.  The three Russians on this superbly recorded Erato disc play with soloistic panache, a shared deep affection for the unwieldy textures and abundant musical understanding...The three listen intently to one another, and together they make this as fine an account of the piece as I can remember."
Gramophone, January 1998

"Repin is an exceptional talent... this highly sensitive Russian artist posesses everything on needs for an international career: virtuosity, temperament, spotless intonation and a light and rounded sound. The audience stamped their feet in excitement..."
"Tageszeitung, Munich, 1998

"In this piece (Ravel, Tzigane) Vadim Repin proved that he knows every detail of the art of violin playing... The composure of this young virtuoso, who presented himself as a complete artist, was amazing."
Kurier, Salzburg, 1998

[1997]

"Repin played the Tchaikovsky with a disciplined brilliance that, in fact, vividly evoked Oistrakh. It was a boldly sculptured, scrupulously clean, perfectly proportioned performance, played with a piercingly beautiful tone, bull's-eye intonation and an easy dexterity that sailed through the score. Chalk it up as Four Star Tchaikovsky..... Repin's immaculate virtuosity came as something of a shock to willing ears."
Miami Herald, February 97


[ - 1997]

Vadim Repin: Critical Acclaim from the web site of Seattle Symphony Orchestra (August 28, 1997, article not online now)

North American

"Mr. Repin is a spectacular player, with a full, brilliant tone...and a seemingly invincible facility. He makes Prokofiev's sentimental turns positively shine and cuts through his complex sarcasms like a razor blade."
The New York Times

"A spectacularly accomplished, magnificently gifted young violinist from the provinces, as it were, Vadim Repin from West Siberia, sailed handsomely through and over the myriad musical and technical challenges of Prokofiev's cherishable First Violin Concerto. All the tenderness in its lyric passages, all the ethereal qualities to which it regularly returns were manifested without self-consciousness and with complete confidence. The mechanical hurdles? Repin leaped them with aplomb, revealing in no moment even a hint of immaturity or inexperience. Masterful!"
The Los Angeles Times

"Vadim Repin boasts a generous tone and plenty of technique, and he dispatched the concerto with a winning combination of sensitivity and razzle-dazzle. As an encore, he wowed the audience with Paganini's set of variations on a theme from Paisiello's La Molinara."
San Francisco Chronicle

"There was a great deal of good playing in the Prokofiev First Concerto, especially from Vadim Repin, the violinist who in 1989 won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition. The First Concerto is a work of eerie imagination and fierce technical difficulty, and Repin sailed through it with extraordinary velocity and ease."
The Miami Herald

"The Prokofiev Violin Concerto is not often heard, and no wonder. The virtuoso demands on the soloist make it difficult to find performers equal to its demands. Repin meets all the requirements and then some."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"The violinist Vadim Repin made his Minnesota Orchestra debut in Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto. Every fiddler with a claim to a career can whiz through this concerto, but few have really mastered it as Repin has. The notoriously tricky passages, like the high-flown harmonics in the first movement cadenza, came off without a hint that they were difficult. Going beyond this, Repin was so sure of his fingers that he was able to find music in every nook and cranny of the concerto."
Saint Paul Pioneer Press

"Vadim Repin played the Prokofiev violin concerto No 1 showing immaculate technique and lush, beautifully focused tone."
Star Tribune

Europe

"Repin is an exceptional talent...This highly sensitive artist possesses everything one needs for an international career: virtuosity, temperament, spotless intonation and a light and rounded sound. The audience stamped their feet with excitement..."
Tageszeitung, Munchen

"[Vadim Repin] not only demonstrated his superior virtuosity and thrilled the audience by mastering extremely difficult passages [Wieniawski-Faust Phantasy], he also showed that he is a fine poet."
Kronenzeitung, Munchen

"In this piece [Ravel-Tzigane] Vadim Repin proved that he knows every detail of the art of violin playing...The composure of this young virtuoso, who presented himself as a complete artist, was amazing. The name Vadim Repin will soon be well known worldwide."
Kurier, Salzburg

"Repin is a virtuoso and a sensitive artist, he has the sweet tone of a romantic and the strength of an athlete."
Corriere della Sera

"Vadim Repin, the Siberian violinist, played the 1st violin concerto by Dmitri Schostakowitz (on the Stradivarius once used by Henre Wienowske) with stupendous understanding and tremendous power. Repin, winner last year of the highly regarded Brussels Queen Elisabeth competition, established himself as one of the violinists to whom the 90's and the first decades of the next century will belong to."
Morgenpost

"[Vadim Repin] is extremely gifted and could "define" the next decade of violin playing...A musical personality of great depth."
Der Tagesspiegel

"The young Vadim Repin is without doubt a highly talented violinist..."
Suddeutche Zeitung


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