- Jul 26-31, 2011 Verbier Festival, Chamber concerts and Birthday concert New!
- Dec 4, 2010 Paris Recital
- Jun 8, 2010 Berlin, Beethoven Concerto
- Feb 23, 24, 2010 Montreal, Beethoven Concerto + Masterclass
- Sep 14, 2009 Tokyo, Brahms Concerto
- Jul 17-21, 2009 Verbier Festival, Brahms Concerto, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky Piano Trios
- Oct 20, 2008 Paris Recital
- Dec 1, 2007 Birmingham, Mendelssohn Concerto
- Nov 17, 2007 Rouen, Beethoven Concerto
- Jul 31, 2007 Gstaad Festival, with Vilnius Festival Orchestra
- Nov 18, 2006 Nyuzen Recital
- Jul, 2006 Verbier Festival, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Mozart Piano Quartet K493
- Dec 5-6, 2005 Carte Blanche - Trio and Duo concerts in Lille
- Sep-Oct, 2004 Japan tour, Sibelius Concerto and recital
- Jul, 2004 Verbier Festival, Beethoven Kreutzer
- Sep 9, 2003 Hong Kong, Duo Recital
- Jul 25 - Aug 4, 2003 Verbier Festival, Mozart Symphonie Concertante, Taneyev Trio and Quintet
- Oct 11, 2002 Taipei, Tchaikovsky Concerto
- Jul 25 - Aug 4, 2002 Verbier Festival, Vivaldi Chamber Concerto, Prokofiev Sonata, Tchaikovsky Sextet, Mozart Sonata
- Dec 14-19, 2001 Tokyo, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole lobby recital, Tchaikovsky Concerto
- Mar. 22, 2001 Amsterdam, Brahms Double Concerto
- Mar. 19, 2001 London, Brahms Double Concerto
- Aug 1, 2000 London, Shostakovich Concerto No. 1
- April 7-8, 2000 Hong Kong, Bruch Concerto (1) (2)
- Mar. 4, 2000 Atlanta, Tchaikovsky Concerto
- Jan.12, 2000 Amsterdam, Beethoven Concerto
- Aug. 5, 1999 Los Angeles, Shostakovich Concerto No. 1
Verbier Festival 2011 (by Benny)
Backstage, July 26th
Trio, Repin Matsuev Maisky, July 29th
Quintet, Repin, Sokolov, Matsuev, Rachlin, Buslow
with fans afterconcert, July 29th
Bruch VC Rehearsal, July 30th
Final rehearsal, July 31st
- Photos by Benny -
26 July, 2011 Verbier Festival Celebrates
Verbier Festival celebrated indeed with an avalanche of Stars. The programme created by Martin T:son Engstroem consisted of a few complete works and also of movements from various works that brought together some of today's best musicians.
I think that is what makes the Festival so unique. Where else would you see Joshua Bell performing with Leonidas Kavakos or Martha Argerich with Evgeny Kissin not forgetting our famous quartet or Anne-Sophie Mutter with Kavakos and Matsuev, all of these and more reunited on the one night on one Alpine village at 1500 meters! Gidon Kremer having declined the invitation to play on this occasion and with Thomas Quatshoff unable to sing, Martin simply rearranged the programme and persuaded Martha (Argerich of course!) to be there with young and old friends (isn't Gitlis simply incredible?), celebrating her birthday perhaps too, why not! All this talent under the one roof is always a little overwhelming. To witness the friendships between the musicians after the concerts is also special and above all the relaxed atmosphere created thanks to the huge organisation behind the scenes. Thank you Martin!
In this concert I was most impressed by the last movement of the Brahms sonata for alto and piano (Bashmet / Kissin). It was so poignant, extremely emotional and deeply felt. Bashmet then dedicated a short piece by Czech composer Benda, to his father who had died the previous day. What a better way for a musician to express his grief. I also enjoyed the Ysaye piece for 2 violins (Bell / Kavakos). It was new to me. Bell told me later he had not played it before! (his thirst for music never ceases to amaze me!) The Mendelssohn Trio of course which was full of energy and youth (watch the delight on Wang's face!), and what about the Brahms Quartet? Pity we could not have it in full! But what a Finale! These musicians together again are simply marvellous to watch. Their great friendship is reflected in their musicmaking don't you think?
29 July, 2011 Exclusive Encounters VI
Vadim Repin has been performing the Rachmaninov Trio No 1 with Lang Lang and Maisky regularly since they recorded it two years ago. This time Matsuev was at the piano. There was a remarkable understanding between the three musicians. There was great sensitivity and a most powerful ending when the sound seems to carry on after the last note.
The Bartok Quintet presented a very contrasting mood. Vadim Repin had performed it 10 years ago in Verbier but as he said the next day in an interview, he had forgotten how difficult it was! Many hours of rehearsals went into this concert and this piece in particular. He mentioned some 8 hours work the first day and 5 to 6 hours the second day. I attended the final rehearsal and could understand the energy that was spent on bringing off this exciting work. Bartok as a young man used to go into the Hungarian countryside collecting peasant tunes. You can hear Brahms and Liszt influences too as well as folk tunes in Bartok's own style Again a brilliant Finale that got the audience wanting a repeat and getting it! Bravo!
I must also give a mention to the Brahms String Quintet No 2 which was superbly executed before the interval by Bell, Shoji, Rachlin, Kashkashian, and Hoffman.
Chamber music was at its best in Verbier.
31 July, 2011 A Crazy Night in Verbier. Vadim Repin @40
The Bruch VC rehearsal was a breeze compared to the rest of the programme. The conductor, Gábor Takács- Nagy, kept the fine Chamber Orchestra working very hard indeed particularly in The Carmen Fantasy as he saw to so many details in the score (Did you see all the highlighted passages on his score!) On the day of the final concert, the rehearsals went on for a good part of the day also to accommodate Igudesman's choreography. You do not get what looks like improvisation without many rehearsals (and more for the violinists turned dancers as well!) I have only praise for all the work that went in to produce such a varied concert. I think people appreciated the serious as well as the fun pieces. Vadim Repin's programme, conceived by Aleksey Igudesman for him to celebrate his birthday in music did not leave him many breaks. Vadim also had to learn new pieces within 2 days. In that case I think it was probably wise to leave the dancing to Rachlin and Igudesman! The whole concert was a celebration indeed. We were there enjoying ourselves in Verbier for nearly 3 hours including the interval. All the musicians showed to have amazing stamina. What a formidable Russian weekend! As you may have read in the Verbier Festival daily magazine, many Russians arrived in Verbier for this particular weekend. See here the article by Yutha Tep "L'âme Russe"published on July 30th and here "Vadim Repin, Patron du violon" by Laurent Vilarem, on July 31st.
Already the next morning, Vadim was on his way to Menton for yet another rehearsal and another concert. Such is the life of our wandering musician!
I will bring home many special memories and already look forward to watching these concerts again on www.medici.tv.
Paris Recital Repin-Berezovsky Salle Pleyel 4-12-2010 (by Benny)
with Boris Berezovsky
Receiving the order
Vadim Repin is now Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
- Photos by Benny -
Sergei Prokofief : 5 Melodies for Violin & Piano
2. Lento, ma non troppo
3. Animato, ma non allegro
4. Allegretto leggero e scherzando
5. Andante non troppo
Sergei Prokofiev : Sonata No 1 for violin & piano
1. Andante assai
2. Allegro brusco
4. Allegrissimo - Andante assai come prima
Leoš Janáček : Sonata for Violin and Piano
1. Con moto
Maurice Ravel : Sonata for Violin and Piano
2. Blues: Moderato
3. Perpetuum mobile: Allegro
Maurice Ravel : Tzygane
Béla Bartók : Romanian Folk Dances
Siberian weather in Ireland created havoc. Flight cancellations followed by many delayed departures, anxiety mixed with excitement as you can imagine right on the day of the concert! Luck was on my side however as I strode into Salle Pleyel minutes before the concert started.
Time to settle in and calm down helped by the Prokofiev melodies. The 5 melodies were originally composed for soprano and piano in 1920 when Prokofiev was in the US, then transcribed for violin and piano in 1925, No 1,3 and 4 were dedicated to Paul Kochanski No2 to Cecilia Hansen and No 5 to Joseph Szigeti.
VR's 'Bonjour' violin sang ever so softly at the start which is marked p and con sord, I was glad the piano lid was only half open, particularly as I was seated a bit too close to the stage. I enjoyed the thoughtful melodies in the second and fifth in particular.
Throughout the concert I was taken by the sound of VR's violin.so far the best violin I think I have heard him play. Both performers are at the height of their career. I am always struck by BB's facility at the keyboard. He is such a natural, nothing looks too difficult for him. He and VR used to perform together for many years and did many recordings together, and I was curious to see how they would perform this music they know so well. It is a good number of years since I heard them in Prokoviev and Ravel sonatas.
Prokofiev Sonata No1 was next on the programme. Dedicated to David Oistrakh, Prokofiev started this composition in 1938 and only completed it after the 2nd world war. Oistrakh and Lev Oberin gave the premiere on 23rd of Oct 1946 in Moscow conservatory. When Prokofiev died in 1953, Oistrakh chose to perform this 1st sonata at his funeral.
Generally the tone is of a sombre nature perhaps reflecting the difficult war times. Prokofiev himself described it:"In mood it is more serious than the second (sonata). The first movement, Andante assai, is severe in character and is a kind of extended introduction to the second movement, a sonata allegro, which is vigorous and turbulent, but has a broad second theme. The third movement is slow, gentle, and tender. The Finale is fast and written in complicated rhythm".
Prokofiev's Russian biographer also gave a description of the first sonata : "the meditation of an ancient bard on the fate of the motherland... a scene of brutal encounter between warring forces...a poetic image of a young girl's lament...and a hymn to the might of Russia in arms, a paean to the people's freedom and strength" Prokofiev described the last section of the first movement that it should sound " like the wind in a graveyard"!
I love the writing in the Andante. Both players performed it with great sensitivity and finesse. I also enjoyed very much the lively rhythms in the Finale, which brought a bit of relief before the return of "the wind in the graveyard". So well executed, I heard bravos all around.
After the interval we heard the Janáček sonata written at the start of the 1st World war. Janáček revised 3 out of the 4 movements a few times before the final version was performed in Brno by František Kudlácek with Jaroslav Kvapil at the piano in April 1922.
The music in this sonata is powerful and emotional, it reveals the pain of a composer whose life was marked by tragedy. VR uses words like, "extreme sensitivity", one feels the nerves closely under the skin", "powerful", "expressive" to describe this sonata he so obviously loves performing and we, the audience, held our breath during the performance. The lyrical Ballade was most poignant and romantic. I heard a few nervous coughs at the end of it, followed by shh.. (= please don't break the spell!) The tension in the Finale was palpable and unsettling, the violin soaring at times then ending in sadness. A slight pause at the end before applause acknowledged this compelling story telling.
Ravel composed his violin and piano Sonata in G Major between 1922 and 1927 and dedicated it to his friend Hélène Jourdain-Morhange. It was premiered in May 1927 in Paris by George Enescu and Ravel at the piano. Ravel said about the writing of the Sonata for violin and piano: "with 2 fundamentally incompatible instruments, I assumed the task, far from bringing their differences into equilibrium, of emphasizing their irreconcilability through their independence".
The recognisable 'Blues' 2nd movement was fun especially the little glissandi! and the 3rd movement was incredible with these non stop semiquavers driving the music to an explosive ending, a real task even for virtuosos. Brilliant!
We got 3 emotionally and technically demanding sonatas and yet we asked for more and were rewarded by immense virtuosity in Ravel Tzygane, a real show piece originally written for Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi . Raptuous applause Then a second encore, full of joy, Bartók Romanian Dances ended a very imaginative programme.
I came out of this concert exhausted from the tensions and emotions, elevated by the lyricism and cantabile, excited by the rhapsodic and the virtuosity, all this and more but mainly taken by the sound of VR's violin.
The concert was over but this was not the end of the evening. After many congratulations from his friends and fans, a happy but tired VR (apparently still suffering from a cold) went to the reception in Salle Pleyel where Laurent Bayle who represented the French minister of Culture, made VR Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Laurent Bayle paid tribute (in French) to Vadim Repin's unique sound, his dedication and artistry, and his fidelity to the high standards of musicianship set by two of his greatest mentors, Mstislav Rostropovich and Yehudi Menuhin, both members of the same distinguished French Order during their lifetimes.
In his speech, Vadim gave his thanks and praised "the most important person in my life", his mother, and praised his truly dedicated teacher, Zakhar Bron. He mentioned the long established strong cultural links between Russia and France and reiterated how much he loved performing here, in Paris.
It was a wonderful event. Everyone was relaxed, happy and proud and we all raised our champagne glasses to our favourite violinist.
Concert at the Berlin Philharmonie (by Benny)
Berlin Philharmonie Concert Hall
Signing after concert
- Photos by Benny -
Tuesday, June 8, 2010Beethoven wrote his mighty violin concerto in 1806. This concerto has become the pinnacle of all violin concertos fit only for the great violinists such are its technical difficulties.
Berlin Philharmonie Concert Hall, Berlin
1) Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
2) Unsuk Chin: "Rocana"
3) Richard Strauss: "Don Juan" op. 35
Vadim Repin, violin
Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, dir. Kent Nagano
I arrived early for the general rehearsal in the Philharmonie. This is an amazing venue. The shape of it, the seating arrangement, you must have seen it on TV, are quite impressive. At the concert during the first solo, it seemed to me that the violinist was at the centre of a huge flower and that the music was coming upward and spreading to all its petals!
Kent Nagano's view of the concerto, dolce softly from the beginning, was delicate and attentive, allowing the different colours in turn to come through the texture but enabling the soloist shine at all times. He was clearly in accord with Vadim Repin's play even though in a couple of places I would have liked the orchestra to answer the soloist a little more assertively in their forte passages.
What can I say impressed me most in Vadim Repin's performance? Well, there you have the perfect trills, the solos, the cadenzas, the 'espressivo' and particularly the many 'dolce' passages, all of these along with plenty of acrobatics for the virtuoso who could have been dangerously exposed.
Overall I'd say it was the Cantabile in the Larghetto, uttered so gently and the divine sound of Vadim's Guarneri rising up to reach every soul in this magnificent hall, that did not fail to move me to the very core.
Here is what Vadim Repin himself said about the Beethoven concerto:
"I always think of Menuhin in terms of this work. He played it when he was eight, and recorded it when he was 65. His interpretation, which he felt was shaped by his teacher Enesco, has a childlike simplicity, and at the same time the most mature spirituality. I see it as a love story about life itself. The second movement is like a confession in church, with the strings at the opening sounding like a soft choir: it feels like a time for self-knowledge, a time to understand what's real in life, as opposed to what is just brilliantly sparkling surface. It gives me the feeling of being naked, of being able to hide nothing. In this the performer's true nature becomes known."
A friend of mine, now living in Berlin, was hearing Vadim Repin for the first time live in concert. He was unusually silent at the end of the performance until he turned to me and pointing at the ceiling said of Vadim: "He is up there with the violin Gods". I nodded and smiled.
Thank you Vadim for this beautiful musical offering.
Beethoven VC and Masterclass in Montreal (by Anne-Marie)
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
Photo from the offocial site
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Place des Arts, Montreal
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Kent Nagano, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
1) Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
2) Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Wednesdayday, February 24, 2010
Montreal conservatory, Montreal
Open Masterclass by Vadim Repin
The concert was absoluntly fabulous!!! Repin, as always, walked on the stage very professionnally and started playing. It was as beautiful as his Beethoven CD and as perfect as what I heard in Ottawa, Canada, the year his CD came out (about 3 years ago).
Since the first note, we could see how well known and executed was the concerto! The huge waiting line to buy and have the CDs autographed was very impressing as well as the people's reaction! He got a standing ovation!
As for the masterclass, there were 4 people. The first one played first mvt of Tchaikovsky VC, second played 3rd mvt of Brahms VC, third played something of Glazunov VC and 4th Sibelius (but Repin couldn't listen to the Sibelius since it wasn't ready (little problems...). So he talked about how to do scales instead.)
The players were wonderful!!! The student who played Glazunov was outstanding and she sounded so special! Repin spent slightly more time with her. Of course, he was very interested and patient in listening to all the students (Tchaikovsky and Brahms were so well played too.) He let them play all the Mvt before commenting, while listening carefully.
Here are the general tips he gave:
Contrast, contrast and contrast... Use all the bow, not just a part. These different bow areas you play in will give all the necessary contrast of color and power.
Independency of the two hands. FIGHT this natural tendency the body has to tense the left hand when you play forte and energically with the bow... Of course exagerate creshendos when needed.
Do not just play short notes as if you don't care. Always finish phrases and never never never do a same melody that repeats twice the same. What you think is ok from up close would be burried by the Orchestra so be careful in doing your pp ok (to still be heard). Up up and UP the scrool of your violin... so important since this is the only way to liberate your left hand for extra dexterity, color, vibrato shades etc. Never block with the shoulder. Lift the violin from your left shoulder is essential!
In Brahms, don't play for your grandmother... (his words but it was just to put an image) Do it magistral, grandiose. Hungarian music is like dance so really put this "swing" on the notes that need it. And the short notes must be ended and resonating. Don't give up on the short notes, it's SO essential in Brahms. In Brahms, also don't slow tempo when not written, and put lots of energy! At many places, end of cresh buildups, he finished with an up bow (V) for more power than with a down bow. Good contact with the strings... use this index on your bow hand... At the bottom (heel) part of the bow, always make that hand/wrist movement energetically. At the tip, you do it but with less amplitude.
Scales are the starting point... It's pointless to try to master a concerto if you don't practice the basics in scales. One should do at least 2 hours a day of scales or more if needed... you never do enough...
In decimas, octaves etc make the stretch from placing your "weak" pinky first and stretch the rest of the hand to reach the gap. You can stretch a lot more your stronger index than pinky (little finger) so put most of the stretching job to your index. Plus always be aware of your pinky which is your indicator for intonation.
This is for the technical advice but if there is one thing everyone should keep from this wonderful masterclass (from the beginner violinist to super star), that Repin could never tell ennough to people because he insisted so much on it:
Be convinced/convincing (by your message. It has to be clear and expressive)
Hope I can share the joy I had today and yesterday to attend to Repin's events!
Brahms Violin Concerto in Tokyo (by Xavier)
Brahms VC in Tokyo
14 September, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Opera City Concert Hall, Tokyo
The Malaysian Philarmonic Orchestra
Claus Peter Flor, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
1) Smetana: Moldau
2) Brahms: Violin Concerto
Bach: Sarabande from Partita No. 2
3) Dvorak: Symphony No. 9
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 6
For his second performance in Tokyo this year, Vadim Repin played the Brahms Concerto. Seated a few meters from the concert stage, it was a privilege and a great experience to see this virtuoso in action.
The way Vadim uses his bow (such a control, and so many colours produced by his right hand), the way Vadim vibrates (and creates such a beautiful sound), all this must have been a great masterclass for any violinist who was at the Opera City Hall. A gorgeous, powerful, and also delicate sound.
But there was more than that: the magnificent sonority was "only" the complement of a real musical deepness. In Vadim's interpretation, every note, every phrase must have been carefully thought. However, the long phrases (particularly in the 1st movement) were played with much fluidity; this was big-scale musical interpretation.
The Heifetz cadenza was played in a quite cantabile manner- rather the opposite of Heifetz' intense, high- tension sound! But Vadim's musical ideas were convincing.
After this successful performance, audience asked encores, and luckily obtained Bach (a movement from the 2nd Partita).
Verbier Festival 2009 (by Benny)
17 July, 2009
Brahms VC at the opening concert
July 17, 2009
Repin, Maisky and Lang Lang in rehearsal
July 20, 2009
Repin and Lang Lang, July 20, 2009
Vadim Repin interview, July 16, 2009
Tour de France Presentation
July 19, 2009
- Photos by Benny -
Repin/Verbier Festival Orchestra/Charles Dutoit
21 July, 2009
Lang Lang Carte Blanche
Vadim Repin, violin
Mischa Maisky, cello
Lang Lang, piano
17 July, 2009
VR was performing the Brahms VC on the first night of Verbier Festival this year. I arrived the day before for the rehearsal. Going up the hill to Medran tent, I could hear the orchestra had already embarked on the first movement. I just made it as the solo violin enters dramatically and so it took me on board straight away!
Wonderful melodies in turn animato and stringendo to espressivo and dolce, this is a Big Romantic Concerto Brahms wrote for his friend Joachim whose cadenza is probably still the most played today. Brahms left the 1st movement cadenza to the performer and I believe there are many of them. Ruggiero Ricci for example recorded 16 different cadenzas with this concerto! Vadim Repin has a preference for the Heifetz cadenza since his childhood. It fits in with the concerto very well and it is the cadenza he recently recorded for DG.
The weather was just beautiful that day. Unfortunately, on the night of the concert the heavens opened and this made the proceedings pretty difficult. At the start of the concert VR had to step back to avoid a leak in the roof of the tent! The rain made a lot of noise too and you can appreciate the performance in such poor conditions. Thankfully rain abated at the beginning of the Adagio (prayers answered Vadim!) and one just had to look at the concentration on his face to forget about the rain and let the music inside you move you. So after a rhapsodic first movement and a heroic cadenza, a tender lyrical Adagio, we got a flamboyant 'Hungarian' Finale from the violin and orchestra alike with such powerful energy that was to beat the weather!
The evening before the concert VR graciously agreed to an interview for the benefit of the Verbier Chamber Amateur group. Michael Mc Lane, amateur cellist, led the interview in which VR talked about working and performing with orchestra and conductors and working as a chamber musician. He also talked about the technical knowledge of the instrument and how to overcome technical difficulties. Technique but also relaxation is a key to everything. You don't ask a centipede how to walk, he said, it's automatic!
He also talked about playing the Brahms VC and the Beethoven VC for Yehudi Menuhin, and their conversation about fingerings and phrasing, so important where you change strings and where you break the phrase for the sound you want to produce.
VR also answered questions about his concert schedule and learning new repertoire, etc...
VR gave a second interview with Julian Sykes (mostly in English but with French translation) on July 19th for radio Espace2 and this is available on the On Demand page:
From there he went along with the delegation to congratulate the winners of the Tour de France and give the yellow jersey to Contador. I must say the organisation for this event was amazing and I was quite impressed by the numbers that came up to Verbier with the colourful caravan of the various sponsors.
The following day Lang Lang, VR and Maisky got together for a long day of rehearsals for Lang Lang Carte Blanche. Maisky and VR gave later an interview for Classic FM, this interview is also available on the On Demand page.
21 July, 2009
Lang Lang Carte Blanche
Rachmaninov Trio No 1 in Gminor "Elegiaque"
Rachmaninov wrote 2 piano Trios. While the 2nd Trio in Dm is modelled on the Tchaikovsky Trio, the first Trio in G minor is in a single movement lasting about 13 minutes.
Romantic melodies, rich harmonies with precise rhythms characterise this music. In the Lento Lugubre the piano presents the mournful theme which is then taken by the cello then the violin. The Piu vivo con anima and Appassionato bring dialogues in turn dramatic, pensive and spirited between the piano and the strings. At the Alla Marcia Funebre, the opening theme returns this time in the strings together con sordini and a final piano chord concludes the movement.
I particularly enjoyed VR's sound in the Con Anima and Appassionato. Of course like one reviewer said one would marvel at his finesse and poetry!
Tchaikovsky Trio in Aminor Op. 50
dedicated to 'The memory of a great artist' ie Nikolai Rubinstein.
The Trio had its premiere in March 1882 in Moscow Conservatory with S.Taneyev, I. Grzhimali and W. Fitzenhagen.
The Trio is in 2 movements:
Pezzo Elegiaco, a dark romantic 1st movement
and a second movement in 2 sections:
Tema con Variazoni, with a theme based on Russian folk melody with a set of 11 variations in the first section and a Variazione Finale and Coda in the second section. The 11 variations are supposed to represent many images recalling moments in Rubinstein's life. The 2nd section starts marcato and spirited until the Coda 'Lugubre' which starts with the Funeral march in the piano followed by the piangendo (weeping) strings and concludes with piano chords morendo (dying away).
From the very beginning, molto espressivo, one cannot but get immediately drawn into the music. VR's violin sounded so beautiful in particular in all the dolce espressivo passages and in the Adagio con duolo e ben sostenuto starting sul G as well as at the very end of the movement. In the second movement the piano brings the theme which is taken up by the strings cantabile in the first variation. This is a long movement which has great moments but also difficult ones such as in the Fugue and in the Final variation Allegro risoluto con fuoco.
The best moments for me? I particularly enjoyed the violin inVar. 2 (Piu mosso) and again in Var. 4 where the strings have the tune, Var 6 when the violin is so grazioso and in Var. 9 the con sordini strings have the Lamentoso tune. Also the lovely dialogue between the instruments in Var.11 and of course the great intensity the 3 players produced in the Andante con moto just before the Lugubre ending.
Bravo Vadim, Mischa and Lang Lang, thank you!
I should mention that this was the first half of the Carte Blanche programme. In the second half the 3 musicians accompanied Bryn Terfel, Thomas Quasthoff and René Pape in Broadway songs.
The 3 famous basses had performed in Don Giovanni the night before. So the rehearsal time was a bit short! And while Terfel and especially Quasthoff sang with flair, I felt René Pape a little ill at ease in this repertoire. However the audience seemed to have such a good time, this was to be taken as a cheerful bonus to an already great night of music.
Paris Recital with Itamar Golan (by Benny)
Recital in Paris at TCE
20 October, 2008
-Photos by Benny-
Monday, October 20, 2008,Debussy Sonata for violin and piano
at Théatre des Champs Elysées
Vadim Repin, violin
Itamar Golan, piano
1) Debussy Sonata
2) Stravinsky Divertimento
3) Beethoven 'Kreutzer' Sonata
Intermède, Fantasque et léger
Finale, Très animé
There is a lot contained in this short, unique, sonata. Subtlety is the word that comes to mind, certainly melancholy and sadness but also humour. There are little touches of tone colours that keep you interested all along for all its imagery. You will no doubt recognise Spanish music as well as Asian and gypsy music in this sonata. All different textures and sonorities with the piano and violin pulling against each other at times, between the motif of one instrument and countermelody of the other, rhythmic interplay etc... One needs to listen attentively to all these challenges, which, may I say, were well met by both performers. There are a lot of markings indicated in the score with a few 'ad lib' bars which help to create the tension and release. In the second movement,'Fantasque et léger', impressions and different moods are painted with lightly coloured touches and 'sempre rall' slows down progressively to end 'morendo'. In the third movement the violin retakes the theme of the beginning of the first movement in 3/8 time. I particularly loved the 'Double plus lent' passage VR played so sweetly and later the staccato passage and the descending scales were superbly executed. Towards the end the violin trills on A while the piano sounds like chiming bells announcing the end of the piece with 2 strong chords.
If I may quote Debussy himself, (translated):
...Don't trust any piece that appears to hover in flight from heaven. It could have been brooded in the dark depths of a sick man's brain ! For instance the finale of my sonata: the simple play of a thought that twists itself like a snake biting its own tail..."
If you get a chance, go and hear this sonata live in concert, in any case I recommend listening to the 'Vadim Repin au Louvres' Cd , which is one of my favourites, probably because it's a live recording!
Pas de deux: Adagio, Variation, Coda.
Stravinsky Divertimento is a transcription for violin and piano (by Stravinsky and violinist Dushkin) from the Ballet 'Le baiser de la fée' (The Fairy's kiss) that Stravinsky wrote based on songs by Tchaikovsky.
The Sinfonia starts with very melodious bars played legato on the violin followed by a fast demisemiquavers passage. Next a 'sostenuto' march like passage in 2/4 brings some contrast with its humour before the Andante where the melodic passage starts Piano then Vivace punctuated by double stops, pizzicato and fortissimo As and Ds, going straight into the Danses Suisses. At Tempo giusto, irony perhaps, even sarcasm! Bow swipes, double stops, harmonics, technical difficulties were like child's play in the hands of VR. The Scherzo that followed, Allegretto grazioso, sounded cheerful with all the trills and descending scales. I noticed the very clear, crisp, sound from Vadim's Guarneri in the Doppio Movimento which begins more legato and then more trills and a spiccato that would make any violinist envious of VR's prodigious technique! When you see the technical difficulties in the score, it makes you appreciate the work and dedication of both performers. I particularly loved the Adagio and the coda in the Final movement 'Pas de deux', the Adagio starting so romantically, with such nice phrasing from VR, then the Variation joking in the glissando, and finally in the Coda, presto crescendo, very clear Pizzicato was heard, octaves, double stops, all sorts of technical fireworks! simply an amazing finish to the first half of this recital.
Beethoven 'Kreutzer' Sonata
Andante con Variazoni
Finale : Presto
Apparently Kreutzer never got around to playing the work that was dedicated to him! Much has been said already in the many reviews we read about this monumental sonata. This sonata is a must for all great violinists. We have now heard Vadim Repin perform this sonata with Martha Argerich (ah! do listen to the Beethoven CD for those middle Variations!), Nikolai Lugansky and now Itamar Golan, as well as others before them. Every performance is different even with the same musicians. Each has his or her own merits. We'll agree that over the years VR has performed with the very best pianists much to our pleasure. Each of these pianists has brought something different to VR and he has responded too differently, like this is an exchange, a conversation between 2 musicians on a particular night. And us, as audience, this is why we go to a live concert, to witness this exchange and to participate to a deeper understanding of the great music communicated by great musicians such as Vadim Repin.
On the night the audience certainly showed its appreciation of a great recital, and Vadim Repin and Itamar Golan played on to give us 3 Encores: Shostakovich Prelude No 17, Tchaikovsky Valse-Scherzo and Brahms Hungarian Dance No 7.
A great programme, don't miss it!
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Birmingham (by Benny)
Mendelssohn VC in Birmingham
1 December, 2007
-Photos by Benny-
Saturday, December 1, 2007,
at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Daniele Gatti, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
1) Schumann Manfred Overture
2) Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
3) Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5
I arrived early to see the Birmingham Symphony Hall which was to hold over 2000 seats that evening. I knew people sitting in various parts of the Hall, some in the middle, some at the front and some at the very back, reports came later that the sound at the back was well balanced and also the orchestra players were pleasantly surprised, too, I believe. So top marks for the acoustics in such a large concert hall.
There was a good feeling in the Hall before the concert, a buzz of anticipation. It's not everyday we get to hear Vadim Repin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Daniele Gatti. I suppose the orchestra probably performs the Mendelssohn VC in E minor regularly and could ride in automatic gear quite easily but with different conductors and soloists you expect slight differences and emphasis each time to add to our excitement in listening to every detail. After all, Mendelssohn took great care with the writing of this concerto, since he thought about it for 6 years before completing it in 1844. One must have respect and fresh ears each time we come to listen to it.
The solo violin enters practically straight away with full energy, molto appassionato definitely! With octaves at the nut, triplets at the point, crossing strings, straight away the works, and for the violinist there are great contrasts to bring out between the virtuoso passages and the sweeter tranquillo ones. After 5 minutes or so into the work, unless I am mistaken, I could swear I heard Daniele Gatti humming (was it a low E?!) in the A Major chord , twice! The solo tranquillos were stunningly beautiful and the cadenza was delivered powerfully, arpeggios sounded easy (Phew..!). It is that very contrast between the virtuoso and tranquillo passages that VR made most interesting for me, it talked to me and I relearned a work I thought I knew so well. Towards the end of the first movement when Tutti backs up the soloist's F#, I think Gatti was too! (He must love this!)
In the Andante VR's sound colour was just a lovely mix, enough warmth, thoughtfulness, espressivo, and also crystal clear, pure tone came all the way to the top level at the back of the hall, I was told later.
Finally the Allegro written molto vivace, seemed more like molto molto vivace, the orchestra and the soloist being driven on a racing course with brilliance and panache and seemingly amazing ease! I watched their passionate play (in particular the first cello was visibly involved!) and Daniele Gatti drove on, no bother, to an exciting finish that could only draw immediate bravos from the participating audience. Vadim gave us Paganini Encore (having a lot of fun with the variations these days!), but what if we had all stood up and cheered maybe he would have played more? Who knows, it was all over too soon!
As I was travelling home I wondered all the time about the sound from Vadim's violin. There was something 'new', something sweeter. I was wondering what it was, perhaps some minor adjustments, that brought this about? I am puzzled, but I like it, it is like the violinist must be in constant search for 'the sound', it's a lifetime work!
Thank you Vadim, until next time.
Beethoven Violin Concerto in Rouen (by Marc)
Beethoven VC in Rouen
17 November, 2007
-Photos by Marc-
Saturday, November 17, 2007,
at Théâtre des Arts, Rouen
The Royal Philarmonic Orchestra
Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
1) Overture "Rusian et Ludmilla" by M. I. Glinka
2) Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Paganini: Carnival of Venice
Ysaye Sonata No 4 -- Allemanda
3) J.Brahms: 2d symphonie (in D Major)
The concert started at 20 h 50. All seats were taken. For the concerto, Vadim enters the stage under the clapping of a warm-hearted public. Dressed as usual in a black costume, Vadim immerses himself in the tutti, moving his head to the sound of the orchestra.
At the entrance of the solo, his Guarneri unfolds, rising in octaves and straightaway, the beauty of his phrasing and the purity of sound move the public.
There are fewer pianissimi than in the CD but so much intensity of music. No effect comes to unsettle the music. Tone is rich. Cadenza is sublime, perfect.
Vadim is in extraordinary form. How does he manage it when he continuously crosses all time zones?
At the entrance of pizz after cadenza, Vadim is in seventh heaven, then ends the first movement with brightness.
The tutti entrance of the 2nd movement is very soft, pianissimo, like a spiritual canticle. Vadim sings and prays with his violin. I am moved.
The third movement is going, rebounding and the cadenza is divine. The concerto ends with an explosion of clapping.
Vadim gives two Encores : Carnaval de Venise (Paganini) with pizz. orchestra then the first movement of E.Ysaye's 4th sonata in E minor. Divine. The public is really won over, admiring a very musical violinist.
Vadim signed and dedicated his latest CD and I spoke to him with huge pleasure.
Gstaad Festival 2007 (by Benny)
Vadim Repin & Vilnius Festival Orchestra
Gstaad Festival, 31 Jul, 2007
-Photos by Benny-
31, July 2007, 8:00 p.m.
at the Saanen Church
Penderecki: Sinfonietta per archi
Britten: Simple Symphony
Mozart: Divertimento in B major, K. 137
Mendelssohn: Concerto for violin and strings in D minor
Waxman: Carmen Fantasy
Paganini: Carnival of Venice
Vadim Repin, Violin and Conductor
Vilnius Festival Orchestra
Gstaad Festival was created by Yehudi Menuhin over 50 years ago. One feels the impact of his presence there particularly if one walks the Menuhin Philosophical path which runs from Gstaad to end at Saanen church . The walk takes an hour at the most and is marked by 12 different plaques written in 3 languages (German, English and French) where one can read the thoughts and reflections of the great artist and humanitarian that Menuhin was. The last plaque at Saanen Church reads : "In reality infinity is merely the distance to the heart of a stranger. Eternity is the moment of cognition".
At the rehearsal before the concert I was able to admire the interior, warm looking handcarved wood and the old frescoes on the walls. More importantly, one could experience the fabulous natural acoustics of this lovely old church. It has atmosphere and no wonder Yehudi Menuhin loved it.
The concert started at 20h00. The Vilnius Festival Orchestra first performed the Sinfonietta per archi (1992) by Krzysztof Penderecki. It is in 2 parts, Allegro molto and Vivace. It has strong rhythmic patterns in turn with slow reflective melodies from the group of 3 (leaders of viola, violin and cello) against the group of 5 (1st and 2nd violins, violas, cellos and bass). A lively exciting finish which I had heard played slightly faster perhaps.
It was followed by Britten Simple Symphony Op. 4 (1925)
The 4 movements are described as :
1 - Boisterous bourrée
2 - Playful pizzicato
3 - Sentimental saraband
4 - Flolicsome finale
Britten started composing as early as 5 years of age and he had written over 100 compositions by the time he was 14 years old. This Opus 4 originated from manuscripts he had written in 1925 at the age of 12! He finally presented and directed this work 9 years later in 1934. It may be called 'Simple Symphony' but one is humbled by the fact a child wrote it. I personally found this piece refreshing and was moved by the beauty of the 3rd movement in particular.
After the Interval we had Mozart Divertimento in B Major, KV137 written in 1772. It is the second of three Divertimenti that Mozart wrote for string orchestra and is in 3 movements, Andante, Allegro di molto and allegro assai. Only 8 or 9 minutes long it was light and delightfully performed by the Vilnius Festival Orchestra.
By then we were more than ready for Vadim Repin's entrance and the Mendelssohn violin concerto in D minor! In a way I was glad the order of programme was changed because if Vadim had played in the first half of the concert I may not have been as attentive a listener in the second half! This early concerto by Mendelssohn may not have the length and depth of the more famous E minor violin concerto, nevertheless it is well worthy of a performance particularly when Vadim Repin decides to play it! It is in 3 movements, Allegro, Andante and Allegro. Wonderful melodies (Mozartian like) soared out of Vadim's violin to reach our hearts. Great balance and good dynamics in the orchestra provided a lovely back up. You could see how comfortable VR was performing with this group. It all went too quickly and I would have loved to hear it all over again! I wonder would he consider recording this work along with the E minor concerto one day? In the meantime I recommend listening to Menuhin's recording of it. It was he who unearthed this concerto in 1951 and recorded it the following year.
The concert was not over yet. Such refined performance which ended in a most cheerful manner in the final Allegro was greeted by insistent applause and bravos from the packed audience. Vadim came back to the stage to play Bizet/Waxman Carmen Fantasie, as virtuoso as you can imagine! He finally ended the concert with Paganini Il Carnevale di Venezia.
By the way do not be disappointed if do not write a long paragraph about Vadim Repin as conductor of the Vilnius Festival Orchestra. This orchestra is so well rehearsed, as Vadim jokingly says of the players :'They conduct themselves!'
Excellent work was done beforehand and it showed. VR stood close to the leader of the orchestra and eye contact and bow gestures were sufficient. VR faced the audience at all times which I thought was great. After all we do not pay our tickets to see the back of such a wonderful violinist. I really felt that is the way conducting should be done when dealing with a small Ensemble, and clearly it worked!
Duo Recital in Nyuzen (by Wistaria)
Repin's Japan tour 2006 was in November, with eight concerts in eleven days across Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido. For your information, Okinawa Islands are in the southern coral sea, while Hokkaido is up north, where it often snows in November. This is such a congested schedule, but after all, it was a wonderful tour, and I am so happy to have been able to attend four concerts out of eight. They were all fantastic, but I would like to report on the Nyuzen recital, the first concert of this tour for me.
Recital in Nyuzen, 18 Nov, 2006
Saturday, 18 November, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
at the Cosmo Hall, Nyuzen, Toyama
Janáček: Violin Sonata
Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3
Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 3
Waxman: Carmen Fantasy
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 7
Granados: Spanish Dance Op. 37-5 "Andaluza"
(*one more Encore: Shostakovich Prelude at Suntory recital on 20th)
Vadim Repin, violin
Itamar Golan, piano
When they appeared on stage, I was curious how this duo would turn out to be. If I remember well, they have never performed together in Japan, though they each play often here, with different performers. Now the concert begins. The tuning made me smile - it did sound "Repin", and was enough to raise my expectations for this concert.
This was the first time Vadim played Janáček Sonata in Japan. It has an oriental atmosphere, and the strong pizzicati remind me of "koto" - a traditional floor harp in Japan. It was a pleasure to listen to something not often heard in live concerts.
Before playing the second piece, Brahms 3rd sonata, Vadim moved away the music stand. He has been playing this piece since he was a child. Watching them play this piece, especially the last movement, you might think it's a battle or something. Golan looks like a football player, and moves intensively and energetically. Repin is tall and his moves are dynamic, though very natural. But if you listen to them carefully, you'll notice their performance is quite authentic and they never get rough even when they play fortissimo. When it comes to a piano solo part, Vadim is absorbed in listening to the piano, and it looks like he is wholeheartedly enjoying performing together with Golan. Violin and piano were well balanced, and they made a perfect ensemble.
After the interval, they played Grieg, Chausson and Waxman. In Grieg 3rd sonata, Repin's tone was rich, glossy, and full of life. It was such a moving performance. Next piece, Chausson's Poeme, was breathtakingly beautiful. In fact, I thought I could not think of anything more beautiful while listening to this piece. I had similar feelings when I listened to Schubert Fantasy two years ago, with Lugansky on the piano. Carmen Fantasy was also a big pleasure. It was flawless, dramatic and passionate.
They played three encores, simply gems. Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 7 came first, which was really exciting. Next came Granados Andaluza. It was a pleasant surprise, because only a few days before, I was talking about this particular piece with my friend who was trying to work on it. We had wished they would play this piece as encore, and they did! And the last encore piece was Sarasate Zigeunerweisen. What a luxury. When Golan played the famous introduction, clapping came from the audience. I felt so happy to share the pleasure of listening to violin music. It's unbelievable that all these are done in one and only live concert.
I would like to add a little more about Nyuzen where the concert took place. Nyuzen is a very small town facing the Japan Sea. We drove 5 hours in full speed and arrived there in the evening. When we got off the highway, it was so dark and quiet, that we wondered if the concert was really happening there. The Cosmo Hall was a cozy hall, and small as it is, many world famous artists had performed there.
What impressed me about this concert was the complete silence between movements. In live concerts, I love the silence and tension just before the music starts. But I had never experienced this total silence between movements. We could hear a pin drop, but also, the atmosphere was warm. It was very comfortable and made it easier to concentrate on music. After each piece, there was a big, warm applause, and at the end of the concert, there came thunderous applause even with bravos and spontaneous rhythmic applause. When we finally stood up, I heard a murmur of an elderly gentleman behind my seat.
"Oh, what a wonderful concert!"
There was an autograph session after the concert, and people made a long line. Vadim was smiling and exchanging words with a lot of people while signing autographs.
There were very good reviews on the newspapers and music magazines about his concerts in Japan. And during this tour, more than 30 messages were posted on the Japanese guestbook/forum of this site, and other than that, I was surprised to find nearly 60 reviews/reports on the web. Nowadays a lot of people write their personal reviews on their blogs. They are written in their own words and thoughts, and very interesting to read. I wish I had the chance to introduce them.
It was amazing that his music has so much perfection and emotion in spite of this tight schedule. Also, despite the visual impression of Brahms sonata, what I felt in this concert was the "gentleness" in Vadim's performance. His music is energetic, but also elegant, and I felt there was more interaction with the audience.
Verbier Festival 2006 (by Benny)
27 July, 2006
Vadim Repin & Paavo Jarvi in rehearsal
Lalo Symphonie Espagnole concert July 27,2006
Mozart Piano Quartet rehearsal
Backstage after concert !
- Photos by Benny -
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole
Repin/Verbier Festival Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi
02 August, 2006
Mozart: Piano Quartet in Eb Major K 493
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Vadim Repin, violin
Roberto Diaz, viola
Ralph Kirshbaum, cello
27/07/06 Lalo: Symphonie espagnole
This 'violin concerto' in 5 movements is essentially a virtuoso piece for the soloist. All the while getting to know the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole over the years made me realise the instrumentation was actually richer than I originally thought and also that it balances well with the violin solo. Striking that balance indeed requires a perfect understanding between conductor and soloist in order to achieve the highest level of interpretation.
Keeping this in mind, at the rehearsal I heard Vadim Repin explaining to the orchestra the importance of keeping a very steady rhythm throughout the piece which is largely based on the Habanera rhythm, so that he, the violin solo, could have this wonderful expressive freedom to weave in and out his melodies above. The orchestra also needs to respond at once to the dynamic changes to be most effective. This is indeed a difficult thing to achieve. Personally I felt the orchestra could have benefited from an additional rehearsal, but a lot of the available rehearsal time was spent on Schubert Symphony No 9 also on the programme, which by the way, worked well on the night. That said, Vadim himself displayed great virtuosity in the opening movement and the Scherzando and showed great espressivo in the Intermezzo. The Andante followed with heavy sustained brass then the solo violin entered full of melancholy and pathos. How I loved his vibrato there! nothing too much, always restrained, but the story so passionate all the same !and we, listening to every note, so clear, to the high D on the E string. Finally the Rondo-Allegro, exhilarating and joyful, brought the house down who demanded an encore and was rewarded by the repeat of the 2nd and 3rd movement. A most colourful, accented, rhythmic piece of music !
02/08/06 Mozart: Piano Quartet in Eb Major K 493
Mozart's 2nd Piano Quartet was written just after the completion of 'The Marriage of Figaro' and it is light and spirited in character. The piano takes the lead throughout and it is well balanced by the strings which share in turn the various melodic material.
This was Andsnes 'Carte Blanche', his own choice of a quartet, allowing him to display virtuosity as well as lyricism. At the rehearsal I guessed this must be the first time this particular group met together and I found it most fascinating to see them at work, discussing various ideas , dynamics, bringing in turn their own views how to emphasize a particular phrase, constantly revising, interpreting, while giving shape and form to the piece. The Larghetto is particularly beautiful and on the night of the concert I felt Andsnes started it at a slower tempo than during the rehearsal, perhaps savouring each note of the theme! The strings followed in his manner and all blended well the instrumental colours. Did you know that Einstein described the first theme of the Allegretto as 'the purest most childlike and Godlike melody ever sung' ?! I imagine Andsnes poetic and graceful manner would suggest such comment! He sprightly led this lovely little rondo well responded by the String Trio and they all concluded in the most joyous and humorous manner.
The Mozart Quartet started the concert which also included Schumann Studies for 2 pianos Op. 56, played with great sensitivity by Emanuel Ax and Leif Ove Andsnes. This was followed by Mahler Lieder, absolutely wonderful singing by Barbara Hendricks accompanied by Andsnes who ended his Carte Blanche with Mussorgsky 'Pictures at an Exhibition' . Many hours must have gone into preparing such a great challenging concert. Congratulations !
My other highlights of Verbier Festival just happen to include a lot of Brahms music! Brahms Quintet in Fm Op.34 with Andsnes, Vengerov, Kushnir, Rachlin and Isserlis. Brahms Piano Quartet No 2 in A major Op. 26 with Lugansky, Rachlin, Imai and Maisky. Schumann Trio No 1 with Koch, Bell and Isserlis.
Shostakovich viola sonata Op. 147 with Kissin and Bashmet.
And an all Brahms programme with Berezovsky and Rachlin who performed the 3 violin sonatas, 2 viola sonatas, plus the Scherzo and Trio (with Horn) as Encores. It was 'such a Marathon' Rachlin himself declared later! At the end Berezovsky said with great humour that they had played everything they could by Brahms except the cello sonatas !!
Vadim was only in Verbier for the 2 concerts. I wished I had been able to hear him in Gstaad in his recital with Itamar Golan, in spite of the thunder and lightning that night I am told! Thanks to Pierre-Andre for his wonderful photos of the event. Vadim says he will be back in Verbier in 2008. Thank you Vadim, we'll be there!
Carte Blanche in France (by Benny)
December 5, 2005 (Trio Concert - Rendez-vous a Lille)
Duo Recital in Lille
6 December, 2005
-Photo by Benny-
Shostakovich Piano Trio No 2, Brahms Piano Trio No 1
at the Music Conservatoire de Lille
December 6, 2005 (Duo Recital in Lille)
Hindemith Sonata in e-flat, Beethoven Sonata in c minor,
Arvo Part Fratres, Cesar Franck Sonata
at the Music Conservatoire de Lille
05/12/05 Trio Concert - Rendez-vous a Lille
Vadim Repin started his "Tour de France" in November to finish in Paris on Dec.10. This could just as well be called a "tour de force" when you think that for his Carte Blanche he chose to perform 4 different programmes. Because of this I could not resist going to at least one of the French cities where he was to play. Lille was my choice because he was doing 3 different concerts 3 days in a row + another Shostakovich VC on the 4th day. It was unfortunate that I could only be there for the first two. These were held in the smaller auditorium of the Music Conservatoire de Lille more conducive to Chamber music and Recitals, while for the next two days the Orchestral concerts were to be in the large Auditorium du Nouveau Siecle (2000 seats). The sound was good there whether on the balcony or in the front rows, and the audience was good too ! very attentive and appreciative ! (not too many coughs even for winter time !)
The concert on Dec. 5 with Bruno Canino and Alexander Kniazev, started with Brahms Trio No 1. There is so much there for each instrument weaving melodies in turn, answering one another and coming together. I found good balance and great exchange going on between them. The first movement was very moving, the scherzo providing momentarily relief before the beautiful melodies from the violin and cello in the slow third movement nearly broke my heart with their gentleness. Great structure, a piece when you can hear the instruments clearly apart suddenly perfectly coming together and changing roles. It is a treat for the senses, such a wave of feelings you never rest, and the dance like rhythms in the last movement kept driving the music to finally end on a high note.
After the Interval one could feel an atmosphere of expectancy with the Shostakovich Trio No 2. VR has a great recording of this out already. This time he had two different partners who also know this piece well. But the chemistry is always different with different performers. Kniazev set the tone with the harmonics on the cello at the start. This is a very exciting piece of music, full of colours and climaxes but also melancholy, all sorts of moods one understand better when reading about the era when Shostakovich wrote this, and of course the instantly recognisable rhythms associated with his music. At some stage I found the cello so full of intensity with a very vibrating pizzicato, I thought he was about to take off into his own tragic world before coming back into the Trio as a unit again ! Very sweaty moments, such powerful feelings displayed here, ended in recognition and reconciliation in the Finale, and just about brought the house down ! They only came back for one movement , I would have had it all again except for my heart beating too fast and the exhaustion on their faces : they had given it all. Such a powerful piece !
06/12/05 Duo Recital in Lille
Vadim Repin started his recital with Hindemith Sonata No 1 in Eb Major. Last time I heard this piece live was with a different performer, it had left me a bit disturbed and dissatisfied. This time around, I liked the curiously cheerful entry on the piano followed later on by a sweet passage on the violin before the excitement returns on at the end of the first movement. It brought different pictures to my mind and contrasted very well with the second and final movement, when the violin plays with the mute on. VR expressed the sadness of the music as if life itself had been cut short, but he ended it peacefully and very quietly. One would wish it could go on to a more hopeful ending but there it stopped. There was "huge" silence for a second or two as the audience reflected on... before the applause. Powerful piece to start the concert !
In fact VR chose to start both half of his recital with pieces of music full of depth that connected straight away and plucked at the heart strings ! I started to relax a bit at the start of the familiar Beethoven Sonata No 7 in Cm. Not for long, for I was watching him at close hand being in the front row and was amazed at his right hand technique, his incredible bow control from tip to frog, being able to go from pp passages to ff with such ease, taught me a little lesson as an amateur violinist ! And it is because of this great control, this technique, that VR is able to switch mood and expression that adds to our understanding of the music.
After the interval, he played Fratres by Arvo Part, a piece I have come to love more and more each time I hear it. Such passionate play and beautiful resonance from his Guarneri, Vadim again brought us the heights and the depths as well as the melancholy portrayed in this beautiful music. This was followed by the Franck Sonata (pity he did not write more !) which I have heard many many times and never get tired of it. Vadim performed this Sonata with other pianists before who may have produced a lot more fireworks in the making, but for me, I enjoyed very much Bruno Canino's play in this piece particularly because he was very present and always supportive without allowing himself to take over. That takes a lot of control and sensitivity. Neither player overdid the romanticism already in the music. They let it speak. That is one of the things I like best about VR, he never forces the sound or overdoes the vibrato and I like his phrasing and the way the music breathes. The piano matched VR's approach to the music. I am not a pro but in this case I thought the balance was perfect !
I am sure VR would have been happy to go and rest after this, he had such a long day which included rehearsing the Shostakovich VC with the Orchestra for the next day concert, but the audience was insistent in its appreciation and with such applause he came back on stage to give us two encores, Shostakovich Prelude and Bartok Romanian Dances. Thank you Vadim !
Concerts in Japan, 2004 (from BBS in Japanese)
Duo recital with Lugansky
Suntory Hall on Nov. 5th, 2004
-Photo by Wistaria from TV-
September 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, October 1
Repin/Royal Stockholm Orchestra/Alan Gilbert
September 27, October 2, 3, 5
Duo recitals: Part Fratres, Franck Sonata, Shoenberg Fantasy, Schubert Fantasy
September 24, 2004 by PRThis is my first posting here. I've just now come back from the Suntory Hall, still basking in the afterglow of the concert. It was the third concert of Repin's I have attended. The previous two were in London. On July 7 this year I was in tears listening to Tchaikovsky Concerto with Rostropovich at the Barbican Hall. A friend of mine had informed me of today's concert in autumn, and now I'm so happy I could listen to Repin twice in a year.
And I'm a bit ashamed to say that I was also in tears today. What a glamourous, fine and beautiful tone! Exceptional virtuosity with such ease (it looks like), without any exaggeration in his stage manner... There's already something of a maestro about him at that young age! He makes my knees weak.
I heard Ysaye as an encore at the Barbican, too, but the acoustics were far better in the Suntory Hall. As I'm going to attend the duo concert on October 5, I can listen to him three times this year! I'm so looking forward to the concert, as it will be my first chance to listen to him in recital.
September 24, 2004 by TKI was watching his arms in the first row, center, just beneath the conductor. This is only an amateur violinis's view, but I thought his bow control was stunning. It seems he was using the bow from the tip to the bottom. The encore at the Suntory was "Carnival of Venice", a full version, with the introduction. I was gazing at him play "Venice" at point-blank range, with my mouth full open... especially at the succesive left-hand-piccicato and bowing. His Ysaye gave me the impression of a neat and bold calligraphy. Two encores.
From the appearance (look of the instrument and f hole shape) and the tonal image, I thought it was Guarneri.
October 6, 2004 by YSHello, everyone, I've been enjoying the messages on this board. Tonight's concert at the Suntory Hall was exceptional. Repin showed us colorful tones to the fullest with his wonderful partner Lugansky.
Profound, thrilling low tones and pure, beautiful high tones, secure structure, accurate and stable technique, and gracefulness which would never be lost in any moment. Every time I listen to Repin, he makes me realize his genius, which is needless to say, of course.
I heard that today's concert would be broacast on the "Art Theater", NHK TV. I can't wait to watch the program. There was long and warm applause tonight and the two looked very happy. They played four encores, and held an autograph session afterwards.
Verbier Festival 2004 (by Benny)
Monday, 19 July, 2004
Shostakovich VC1 with Termirkanov
19 July, 2004
Repin and Argerich in rehearsal
for Kreutzer Sonata
28 July, 2004
Repin and Korcia
30 July, 2004
Rehearsal to Dvorak Quintet
(Repin, Korcia, Kissin, Bashmet and Kniazev)
30 July, 2004
- Photos by Benny -
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 99
Repin/Verbier Festival Orchestra/Temirkanov
Wednesday, 28 July, 2004
Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata
Beethoven: Quartet for piano and strings No. 3 in C major
Friday, 30 Jul, 2004
Dvorak: Quintet for piano and strings Op. 812
19/07/04 Shostakovich V.C. No 1
The best thing about Verbier Festival apart from the fabulous concerts on offer, are the public rehearsals. Watching the UBS Verbier Orchestra at work is a real eye and ear-opener for I discovered many instrumental colours that I had missed from just listening to a CD. This orchestra is made of many talented young players from all over the world. To tell you that there are 14 violas playing in this orchestra will give you an idea of its size. So there is a special sound to this orchestra and a big one too! This could be a daunting task for any conductor, but seemed more like a treat in the hands of Yuri Temirkanov who was conducting the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1. The concerto is made of 4 very contrasting movements, Nocturne, Scherzo, Passacaglia and Burlesque.
From the start Vadim Repin brings you on a journey and you sense it is going to be extra special and you hang on to every note so as not to miss anything. The violin melody with its repeated motif emphasing some unanswered questions adds to the solitary sounds of the night. Such beauty is brought to a climax and back, supported by deep orchestral sounds. The whole atmosphere created in this movement left me spellbound.
The Scherzo starts fast and strong at the heel of the bow. V.R. showed his impeccable technique and virtuosity in this very demanding movement. He made doublestops and crossing strings at fast speed look so easy! This is full of "devilish" sounds and tricky rhythms between the soloist and various sections of the orchestra. Vadim Repin made it such an exciting driving force, so rich and colourful, and this was well responded by the orchestra. The beginning of the 3rd movement brings a more pensive mood. This is a soul searching exercise still full of intensity but of a different sort: The violin starts a plaintive phrase, very melodic, which Vadim played so beautifully I felt huge emotion in my throat and was close to tears. Then he played the cadenza, a cliffhanging exercise, bringing a wave of mixed emotions that left one literally breathless. Hardly time to pause and the 4th movement starts fast and furious. It now sounds like a village feast! Such a frenzy of sounds from all players and such virtuosity from Vadim Repin, I felt totally drained but at the same time exhilarated by the end of this concert. Needless to say this must have been felt also by the rest of the audience who stood and clapped for ages, showing its appreciation for what was something special.
19/07/04 Shostakovich V.C. No 1
28/07/04 Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata
28/07/04 Beethoven Quartet for piano and strings No 3
The "Kreutzer" Sonata is one that both Martha Argerich and Vadim Repin must have played many many times, but as far as I know, it was actually the first time they played it together. I have to say, watching them in rehearsal, they worked hard like the true professionals that they are, approaching this beautiful well-known piece like if it was new to them, with fresh ideas, discussing phrasing and articulation, dynamics etc until they felt they had achieved the right balance. It was an experience, a message to me saying, let's seek a new approach together rather than rely on what we know individually already. The result on the night of the concert seemed as satisfying for them as its effect on the audience.
The Beethoven Quartet is a typically classical piece, very Mozartian like, with delightful melodies. What sounded like a piano piece with strings accompaniment at the rehearsal, turned out to be much more balanced on the night. It is a treat when you get the chance to hear musicians play at such high level.
30/07/04 Dvorak Quintet for piano and strings Op. 81
This is chamber music at its best, loaded with many colourful tunes for each to play in turn, and full of harmonic colours too. Vadim played with his inimitable lightness in the dance-like passages. They were happy moments indeed when he initiated dynamics and tempo changes which made the piece extremely lively and brought a laugh or two among the players who were so obviously enjoying themselves. It sounded so carefree and they made it look so easy. Such talent! Such a musical feast!
Till next year, happy memories from Verbier.
Duo Recital in Hong Kong (by Ray)
Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 8:00 p.m.
Recital in Hong Kong, 9 Sept, 2003
at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Vadim Repin, violin
Boris Berezovsky, piano
Mozart: Violin Sonata in E Minor KV304
Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor Op. 80
Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major Op. 13
Chausson: Poeme, Op. 25
Ravel: Tzigane - Rhapsodie de concert
Started off, they played Mozart's e minor sonata, which I'm not too chilled with: because I'm not a real Mozart fan. It's a beautiful piece yet it didn't catch my interest. Sorry to say this but most of Mozart's pieces bore me (his concertos and symphonies I like).
The 2nd piece was Prokofiev's f minor sonata no.1. This is, in my opinion, a quite depressing piece (Russian composers...) And on that, they're speaking my language, so to speak. Really exciting at times, yet mournful most of the time. The dark tonal characteristic of the violin was really fully utilized. The most stunning part to me was his right hand movement. It sounded like staccato on a series of notes during the allegro, but when I paid close attention to his right arm, I saw very smooth bowing and I didn't know how those staccato notes were facilitated (a friend, who plays the viola, was also surprised). Berezovsky finally got warmed up on this piece. Very exciting passage of notes and some technically challenging parts were present, and were of course brilliantly handled. And I like the fact that he's using mostly subtle movements (unless when he's really energized with the lines where he'd swing his arms playing some notes); totally wonderful fingerings.
After the intermission, Greig's sonata no.2 in G was played, beautifully. This piece is kind of more easy to get. And it's kind of piece I'd listen to in like spring time, reading a cheerful novel. One thing though, I know it'd sound weird, but Vadim's tone...I kind of feel both really warm and cold at the same time. It's a really deep and mature voice trying to tell you the sweet and bitter times of his life.
My violist friend thinks Chausson's Poeme sort of "cold." I don't know, I always feel some kind of melancholic element from this piece. Yes, it begins lyrically and mildly; but as the song goes on it gets chaotically organized, with a tint of sadness and it's like the protagonist is getting further and furtehr away from us. I don't know. I'm not sure myself.
The supposed last piece was Ravel's Tzigane. To tell you the truth, I've never paid attention to the piano part on this song. I did tonight. And I discovered a lot of things I hadn't. It's really really difficult on the piano--of course, it's no easier on the violin. I always find this piece exceptionally exciting. The harmonics on the violin is so outrageous.
2 encores, Bartok's dances, and Melodie. You could see that they're quite tired at this moment already. And although I'd want to keep them on stage forever, it's not possible. And so, we left after the 2 encores.
The last time I've been to a concert was June 30. That was a piano trio concert. Really really fantastic: maybe also because I had been craving for classical concerts for so long. And more than 2 months later I'm here with tonight's concert by which I am totally mesmerized.
Verbier Festival 2003 (by Benny)
Tuesday, 22 July, 2003
Verbier Festival 2003
Rehearsal of Taneyev Quintet
Repin and Kremer
- Photos by Benny -
Bach Concerto for 4 pianos
Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Festival to play in
Verbier Birthday Orchestra
(1st violins: Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Ilya Gringolts, Dmitri Sitkovetsky
2nd violins: Sarah Chang, Christian Tetzlaff, Nikolaj Znaider, Renaud Capucon
Violas: Yuri Bashmet, Nobuko Imai
Cellos: Mischa Maisky, Boris Pergamenschikow
Bass: Patrick de Los Santos
Wednesday, 23 July, 2003
Mozart Sinfonia Concertante
Verbier Festival Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov
Tuesday, 29 Jul, 2003 19.00 Concert, Salle Médran, Verbier Festival
Taneyev Trio in D op 22
(Vadim Repin, Mikhail Pletnev, Lynn Harrell)
Taneyev Quintet in g op 30
(Vadim Repin, Mikhail Pletnev, Ilya Gringolts, Nobuko Imai, Lynn Harrell)
This Festival is very special every year. But this year, celebrating its 10th anniversary, there was a great sense of expectation, and we were not disappointed. Most of the best pianists and violinists in the world attended and performed during the fortnight of the Festival. The Big party was on the Birthday Extravaganza on the 22nd of July : Martha Argerich and Evgeny Kissin opened the concert with a Mozart Sonata for four hands (K521) and already we got a sense of the occasion. It was followed by Smetana's Sonata for 2 pianos and 8 hands, then came extracts of Happy Birthday Variations with the Birthday Festival Orchestra led by Gidon Kremer with Vadim Repin next to him, followed by Ilya Gringolts, Sarah Chang, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Nikolaj Znaider, Christian Tetzlaff, and Renaud Capuçon, violins, Yuri Bashmet and Nobuko Imai, violas, Mischa Maisky and Boris Pergamenschikow, cellos, and Patrick de Los Santos, bass. Fun was in the air, everyone enjoying so many great performers getting together. They played also Bach concerto for 4 pianos with Argerich, Kissin, Levine and Pletnev, adding a note of pure beautiful music after the fun. That was only the first half. After the interval we heard the 8 pianos brought especially by Steinway for the celebrations! Rossini, Wagner, Sousa and Rimski-Korsakov to finish. Never heard so many pianos at the same time, the noise was thundering as the applause afterwards!
The following day, 23rd of July, we had the joy of hearing Barbara Hendricks sing Mozart airs de concert, then our dear Vadim Repin played with Yuri Bashmet and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, in Mozart's Symphonie concertante. Vadim Repin plays Mozart as I have not heard anyone else capture what is so special about Mozart. He made it so simple and beautiful it was just magic. He and Bashmet were recalled many times so much was everyone's appreciation. In the second half of the concert, the orchestra, directed by Yuri Temirkanov, played Prokofiev Symphony No 5 with great enthusiasm and so ended up a very special joyful night
The concert on the 29th of July was special for me because I had not heard the Taneyev trio Op.22, and the Quintet Op.30. I made a point of going to the rehearsals beforehand to familiarise myself with the works. To see them at work at these rehearsals was very enjoyable, and helped me to appreciate all the more the performance on the night of the concert. The Trio for piano and strings in D major is in 3 movements, Allegro, Allegro molto and Allegro con brio. It is typical of the Late Romantic period by a Russian composer. Vadim Repin, Lynn Harrell, cello, and Mikhail Pletnev piano, teamed together for this special performance.
In the second half of the concert they were joined by Ilya Gringolts, violin, and Nobuko Imai, viola, for the Quintet in G minor. It is in 4 movements: the introduction Adagio mesto, then scherzo Presto, then Largo, and the Finale Allegro vivace. I was taken by the beautiful melodies particularly in the two middle movements. Some of the tunes reminded me of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. It was a great experience altogether.
Vadim told me they will record Taneyev with Deutche Grammophon, so a CD will be available soon!
These were the 3 memorable occasions when Vadim performed in Salle Médran, in Verbier! Back next year I hope!
Tchaikovsky Festival in Taipei, 2002 (by piyata)
The National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center is comprised of two buildings which are situated symmetrically- the National Theater and the National Concert Hall. The exterior design of them was based on the traditional Chinese styles, which fully expressed the aesthetics of Chinese classical architecture. And the interior with many twinkling chandeliers was totally beautiful. I was so happy to have enjoyed Vadim's music in such a gorgeous atmosphere.
Friday, October 11, 2002, 7:45 p.m.
Gate to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park
Brochure of the Tchaikovsky Festival
at the National Concert Hall in Taipei
Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St.Petersburg
Valery Gergiev, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Tchaikovsky: Excerpts from Swan Lake
Violin concerto D major op.35
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4, f minor
The concert Vadim participated was taken place as the first concert of 3 consecutive nights event, which was named "Tchaikovsky Festival", and all of the concerts were performed by Kirov Orchestra and Valery Gergiev. We found many advertising banners of the festival fluttering in the city. Gergiev is extremely popular in Japan, and also he is the very conductor played Tchaikovsky violin concerto with 15-year-old Vadim at his debut concert in Japan. Who knows my huge expectation?
About Vadim's performance, I lost my word. I felt the time had passed like a flash. What the artist did was definitely a God work - this is my simple impression about it. It was not aggressive performance, just moderate with his innate modesty. He devoted himself completely to do art, the existence of him was invisible for me. I heard not only the intention Tchaikovsky put into the concerto but also the very inspiration the composer had been given from God.
I think he is not a kind of self-contained musician. He reveals the essence of his talent when he meets a great company. The music merged with Gergiev and Kirov Orchestra went along perfectly. Actually it was impossible to describe how much he did it greatly, beyond description. The divine sound made my soul purified... I hope. The audience in Taiwan were just enthusiastic. He played "Carnivals of Venice" and Ysaye's solo sonata No.4 as the encores. I wished I could have been immersed myself in the splendor of his art forever!
P.S. Fortunately, I could attend the second night concert with the great piano concerto. The soloist Vladimir Feltsman who looked a little a Jazz pianist, was so powerful, people gave him a storm of applause. I just loved the strong touch and clear sound was pouring out from the Bosendorfer he chose.
Verbier Festival 2002 (by V.)
Thursday, July 25, 2002
Verbier Festival 2002
Carte Blanche (Chamber music)
Vivaldi: Chamber Concerto (Petri, Repin, Gringolts et al.)
Prokofiev: Sonata for 2 violins op 56 (Repin, Tretiakov)
Arensky: Piano Trio No 1 (Repin, Harrell, Toradze)
Tchaikovsky: Sextet op 70 'Souvenir de Florence'
(Repin, Capucon, Bashmet, Gandelsman, Harrell, Capucon)
Saturday, July 27, 2002
Mozart Sonata in e minor (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pf)
Sunday, August 4, 2002
Verbier Festival Orchestra
Vadim Repin, Violin
Zubin Mehta, Conductor
Saint-Saens: Introduction und Rondo capriccioso op 28
Waxman-Bizet: Carmen Fantasy
I came back from the Verbier festival last week. Like the last 3 years, it was great holiday time, sharing the joy of music with students from all over the world, enjoying concerts of the highest quality with star guests, walking in the beautiful surroundings... Very hard to come back to London after that!
Vadim was there, as usual, with his musician friends and the concerts he gave were marvellous. Fans of this violinist, you can be reassured about your taste: Vadim is an immense violinist added to a lovely, friendly and cheerful man. First he played Vivaldi flute chamber concerto with the great flutist Michala Petri, then a Prokofiev sonata for 2 violins with Victor Tretiakov (great violinist as well-very powerful), Arentsky piano trio no1 (with Andrei Gavrilov and Lynn Harrell) and finally Tchaikovsky's string sextet "Souvenirs de Florence" which was so beautiful, lively with a real complicity between players that the audience wouldn't let them go afterwards...(he played this piece with Renaud and Gauthier Capucon, one violinist and one cellist, French, young and gifted, Yuri Bashmet and Yuri Gandelsman, the viola players, and Lynn Harrell, famous cellist as well...).
On another evening he played a Mozart sonata in E minor with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, he had a delicate, very moving sound.
This was for the music side! On the social side, Vadim was regularly seen at the pub, with his charming wife and all his friends, visibly appreciating the warm atmosphere of the place.
Don't miss Verbier next year!
All the best,
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, lobby recital and Tchaikovsky Concerto
Tokyo concerts (by piyata)
Fortunately Vadim comes to Far East Japan often since his first visit at the age of 15. His last visit was in 1999, the performance was so emotional and full of energy. I was completely crazy about him. Two years have passed and I don't know how very much I was longing for his LIVE performance. On the first day of the Tokyo tour, Dec 14th, I said to myself "Finally I can go to Vadim's live..." I was absent-minded all day even while I was working in my office.
Friday, December 14, 2001, 7:00 p.m.
Repin and Dutoit/NHK SO performing Symphonie Espagnole
on Dec. 15th -Photos by Wistaria from TV-
at The NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan
NHK Symphony Orchestra
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Stravinsky: Symphonies for Wind Instruments (1920)
Lalo: "Symphonie Espagnole" op.21
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5, e minor op.64
Saturday, December 15, 2001, 2:00 p.m.
Repeat of December 14
Sunday, December 16, 2001, 2:00 p.m. (Lobby Recital)
at Harumi Triton Arts Center, Tokyo, Japan
Vadim Repin, Violin
Itsuko Sakano, Piano
Grieg: Sonata No.2, G major op.13
Saint-Saens: " Rondo Capriccioso"
Wednesday, December 19, 2001, 7:00 p.m.
at the Orchard Hall, Tokyo, Japan
NHK Symphony Orchestra
Vadim Repin, Violin
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Rossini: "Guillaume Tell" Overture
Tchaikovsky: Violin concerto D major op.35
Dukas: Symphonic Poem "L'apprenti sorcier"
Faure: Pavane op.50
Respighi: Symphonic poem "Pini di Roma"
NHK Symphony Orchestra is definitely the most famous and popular orchestra in Japan, which has a big concert hall in Shibuya, Tokyo. (seating capacity of 3700). His last appearance with NHK SO was seven years ago, Glazunov Concerto with Michel Plasson, and I still remember his vivid and fresh performance.
In this tour he played Lalo's " Symphonie Espagnole" with Charles Dutoit twice (on Dec 14th & 15th) and both of them were fantastic. Especially Dec 15th was a great performance to be remembered. On 14th, he looked somewhat stiff and I just thought he was fighting with Dutoit's interpretation of the work... Dutoit might have intended to regulate the music strictly especially in rhythm and tempo. Being on Vadim's side, I was so frustrated and crying inside "Let him play more freely!!"
On Dec 15th, I could watch him in one of the closest seats to the stage and I was really expecting his success. He appeared with a poker face as usual, and started to play so dynamically. What concentration! My heart was beating faster and faster and tears overflowed uncontrollably in my eyes. He sounded so marvelous, and the orchestra also fantastic. I even thought he had changed violins (he used only one violin, Guarneri del Gesu, throughout this tour). I have no word to describe my feelings, but I spent incredibly happy moments there. The huge NHK Hall was full on both days, which also made me feel special.
Next day, I went to his lobby concert in Harumi Triton Arts Center. The program was : Grieg: Sonata No.2, Chausson: "Poeme" and Saint-Saens: "Rondo Cappricioso". I thought his performance had become mature and solid. It's amazing that he is always progressing in his performance. Anyway, I would really like to attend his recitals more and more!
The last day was coming... Dec 19th was his last performance in the Tokyo tour. He played Tchaikovsky Concerto with Charles Dutoit & NHK SO in the Orchard Hall (seating capacity is 2150). I got a ticket for this concert four months ago. Soon the tickets were sold out and there were even some extra seats. Lovely thing he played in front of such a full audience. Tchaikovsky Concerto started a little slowly, he seemed to try some unique experiments in each phrase. So interesting! Past two concerts in the NHK Hall were broadcast on the air and TV live, so he had no time allowed for encore pieces in spite of such big applause. But as this last concert was free from microphone or TV camera, I was expecting his great success and brilliant "Carnival of Venice". My dream came true, he did perform "Carnival of Venice" for us. It might be a little shorter version, but I was so satisfied.
Actually, he was the very beginning of my interest in classical music. I have been fascinated by his performance for 15 years now. It was definitely a kind of turning point in my life. Thanks to him, I became a big fan of classical music. I usually go to about 30 classical concerts in a year. (Of course I enjoy other kinds of music, too.) Classical music makes me happy, relaxed, comfortable, and sometimes deeply moved. Among all Vadim's performance is very special for me. His pure tone and honest attitude to the music directly hit my soul. I always feel extremely happy when I listen to him live. After his concerts, I feel completely refreshed and so positive. No one but Vadim can make me feel like this. So I just want to say "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart. I'm really looking forward to his next project!
Brahms Double Concerto in London (by Jane)
I was at Vadim's (and Mischa's)concert in London on Monday, and it was truly magnificent.
Monday, March 19, 2001, 7:30 pm
Programme of the London concert
Thank you Rie.
at The Royal Festival Hall, London, England
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly , conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Mischa Maisky, cello
Webern: Passacaglia for Orchestra Op.1
Brahms: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor
It was the first time I had seen Mischa Maisky live and he has tremendous stage presence. He seems to feel the music through his entire body. Vadim was looking very cool and composed.
The concerto starts with a solo cello theme which is then taken up by the violin and this set the scene for the interplay between the two instruments. This interplay was always well judged and immaculate both players excelling.
I was surprised to see that both the soloists had the music in front of them even though Riccardo Chailly conducted throughout (symphony included) without any score.
Vadim produced a beautiful pure tone but I felt it was a little quiet and lost, but maybe this was just the contrast with the cello. There was some really wonderful playing in the high positions, pure and clear.
In the second movement the concerto calls for lots of unison playing of the two soloists. Guaranteed to highlight any inaccuracies in intonation or timing between them, but Vadim and Mischa were totally together and there was a visible rapport between them as they caught each other's eye. This was like chamber music backed by an orchestra and for me was the highlight.
I spoke briefly with Vadim afterwards, just to tell him how much I had enjoyed the performance and congratulate him on the performance. He was very charming and kind and listened patiently to my insane babblings. A real professional!
Brahms Double Concerto at Concertgebouw (by Corine)
Thursday, March 22, 2001, 8:15 pmIt was Thursday, March 22nd, 8.14 p.m. The Concertgebouw was getting completely filled. Two much-expecting concert goers were sitting on the worst places of the concert hall: me and my mum. While the orchestra was tuning we were desperately searching for a better place, and fortunately we found one: now we had seats in front of the stage where the soloists would perform within a quarter.
at The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherland
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly , conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Mischa Maisky, cello
Webern: Passacaglia op.1
Brahms: Double Concerto in A minor
Conductor Riccardo Chailly entered the stage and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra started playing Webern's Passacaglia op.1. This is one of Webern's tonal pieces, although hinting yet towards his later musical language. The very expressive Passacaglia was finished within fifteen minutes; then the moment had come where everybody had been waiting for: the performance of Brahms' Double Concerto.
When the performers were walking the red stair-carpet, my mother whispered in my ear: "they just look like a sorcerer and his apprentice!". The sorcerer in question was Mischa Maisky, who looked really impressive with his silvery grey hair and black clothes. After the orchestral start of Brahms' Concerto it was this sorcerer who entered, playing with a heavy vibrato. Swaying to the music Maisky really projected himself in his cello solo. This invited a question from apprentice Vadim Repin. Timidly and questioningly he played his solo passage with a lovely slight glissando, after which sorcerer and apprentice came together in a bright and deeply involved playing as if it was only one instrument that we heard.
Repin showed all through the Concerto that he was equal to Maisky, at times even better. His pure tone was constantly shining and with his youthful appeal he had immediately won the audience's sympathy. Although he seemed to suffer from some automatism in the 1st movement, he definitely compensated it at the end of the Concerto. Maisky, who had some small intonation problems the other night, was this evening more in his element. His tone seemed to be somewhat plaintive, which was very suitable for the 2nd movement. In the beginning of the 3rd movement Maisky slurred his notes and created an air of melancholy which was immediately adopted by Repin. It was clear that violinist and cellist were understanding one another very well. There was a permanent interaction between both musicians, but it wasn't competitive. No talk of a master and his apprentice, but equal high skills and musicality, through which all honour eventually went to the composer, Johannes Brahms. After such a mark of honour the applause lasted for minutes and hardly came to an end.
Shostakovich Concerto at Proms 2000 (by Jane)
Tuesday, August 1, 2000, 7:30 pmThe Royal Albert Hall was hot and sticky, it is a huge hall with seating for around 5000 people, plus probably another 1500 "prommers" standing in the arena and gallery. It had been a hot, humid day in London and the RAH has no air conditioning (I have seen prommers faint before now!).
at The Royal Albert Hall, London, U.K.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Daniele Gatti, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D major, 'Classical'
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet - excerpts
The RPO opened the concert with Prokofiev's Classical Symphony (no 1) under Danielle Gatti. I was not sure what to make of him. Very "minimalist" and he seemed to be letting the orchestra get on with it and giving no direction at times. Not a lot of arm waving etc.
Then it was time for the Shostakovich Violin concerto no 1, and Vadim. I know this concerto so well, I listen to it most days, and I have 3 versions (Hilary Hahn, Leonid Kogan and Maxim Vengerov) I was eager to hear the Repin version. The Nocturne began and it was as if Ruby (Vadim's Strad) was weeping. It was so sad and sinister and this feeling came over, a beautiful voice. I noticed more portamento on the shifts than the Vengerov version (the one I listen to most) which added to the feeling of weeping. The scherzo brought across the full anger of Dmitri Shostakovich, but here I thought it was as if the tempo Gatti wanted to go at was different from the tempo Vadim wanted. At times it felt that the soloist and the orchestra weren't exactly joined up. I love the Passacaglia, I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written and extremely sad. Vadim almost had me in tears, Ruby began to sing clearly here, and in the triplets section began to dance! And on to the cadenza. This was most wonderful and so different to any execution I have heard before. Far more staccato and even quavers. I was so pleased to be able to hear such a different interpretation and I loved it! So I was on the edge of my seat by now. Would he play straight through into the Burlesque or not? Well, yes he did, what joy! Minimal orchestration as the violin takes the theme rather than the woodwind. I was overawed. (But was I the only person to notice? This was not mentioned in any of the reviews, interviews, or broadcast introductions. I was begining to think I had dreamt it until I heard the repeat on the Radio yesterday....and yes, it happened again!)
I was on such a high after this and so impressed with Vadim's complete performance I was bursting to tell him how much I had enjoyed the performance, so I made my way backstage, and managed to get a quick word with him in the interval. He was visibly and totally exhausted, and no wonder, it was so hot in the hall and he had delivered the concerto with such intensity, it was as if he had given everything of himself into the performance. I felt I didn't want to take up much of his time as he was obviously ready for a rest (and knowing Vadim probably a cigarette!), so I told him how much I had enjoyed his performance, how wonderful it was that he had played straight through after the cadenza and how impressed I was with his playing. I was so excited I didn't really give him chance to say anything, but he was charming and kind, and listened to my babblings. A truly wonderful evening.
Vadim Repin - Wild About Bruch! (1) (by Ray)
Friday, April 7, 2000, 8:00 pm
picture from the website of
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
David Atherton, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Mendelssohn: Symphonia No. 10 in B minor
Bruch: Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 26
Franck: Symphony in D minor
I was just back from the April 7 concert titled Vadim Repin: Wild about Bruch! It was just so great. I mean, I'm not really qualified to judge. But I heard, now, 3 versions of the piece, Gil Shaham's, Cho-Liang Lin's and Repin's. And I must say this, Repin's, is the best performance of all. Yes, all three of them are great violinists. Yet Repin plays not only with the technique, but also the deep-ness and feelings and stuff. He played it very lyrically and with a lot of excitement where it's needed. And he didn't too much exaggerate on those crescendo and forte places but played it just right. And I was more than happy about that. And he also played it with a lot of confidence, too, knowing that he is really great and very much appreciated.
There were 2 encores. The first was the Carnival de Venice. He played it very playfully, if there's a word like this. His left-hand pizzicato is like incredible. You can hear his amazing left-hand pizz. in the 24th caprice already, but this time he, like, play it, played it. He's really enjoying it and he and the audience were having such a great time. And I was shocked. I mean, I was like, oh my God, can someone really do that? And then there was the 2nd encore, which is a Bach partita. I didn't know which one, but it's definitely Bach.
We actually got backstage during the interval, the break, and I got his autograph, lucky me! He is so nice in person and he's not like those super star with those super nasty temper, if you know what I mean. A little of this, a little of that, this is the best classical concert I've been to since I know how to hum. It's like, now I've seen things, now I've heard things, and now I've finally discovered the best violinist in the world.
Vadim Repin - Wild About Bruch! (2) (by piyata)
I am a 25-year-old woman from Tokyo who plays the piano, and an ardent fan of Repin for 13 years. He has come to Far East Japan several times, and he is very famous here. His last summer tour in Japan was especially wonderful, I had never been so impressed and I was completely mad about his music. Hong Kong is very near Japan, only 4 hours by plane from Tokyo, so I decided to go to Hong Kong for his Bruch concerto. Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall is not so big, but is located by the seaside and has a great harbor view.
I went to his 2 concerts with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, both of them were extremely fantastic! He looked so serious and was completely focusing on his performance, and the orchestra was playing very cooperative with him. I really enjoyed such a great collaboration. He played so emotionaly and dramatically, with slight sensual feelings. I can't explain how he sounded marvelous in the octave part of the 1st movement. I realized he has the charisma to draw the audience into his world. What impressed me most was the 2nd movement; its dramatic expression really moved me to tears. Anyway, I was really refreshed listening to his performance. After his Bruch concerto, the applause from the audience was so loud that he couldn't help appearing on stage 5 times and he presented "Carnival of Venice" and another solo-violin piece each day. One was "Sarabande from Bach's Partita #2" (7th Apr.), but I didn't know the other (8th Apr.)...
Well, I can't mention his technique because I've never played the violin, but I definitely felt his pure sensibility, beautiful tone and honest attitude to the music and that's why I love his music. I really wish he would keep playing the violin forever against any hardness, and, hopefully, controlling his cigars ....
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Atlanta (by Robert Jordan)
Saturday, March 4, 2000, 8:00pm
at Robert W. Woodruff Hall, Atlanta, Georgia USA
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Carlo Rizzi, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Vadim Repin strode onstage to play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in his trademark all-black, loose-fitting mandarin outfit, a big contrast to the formally-attired orchestra. Appearing thinner and more mature than his CD covers--and with a slight pompadour--he looked a little like Elvis in pajamas.
He played the opening allegretto ethereally and almost waltz-like, articulating the notes precisely.
Guest conductor, Carlo Rizzi, leading the Atlanta Symphony was workmanlike but compared to the sparkling violin the orchestra sounded a little tired. Maybe it was the Atlanta hall's famous flat and muddy acoustics, something I hope will be remedied by the new hall to someday be designed by Renzo Piano.
Repin eased into the canzonetta with a mournful, sensuous gypsy flair, but still clearly enunciating--even when his bow was fluttering over the strings like a moth--all the way through the frenzied finale.
I am not a big fan of Tchaikovsky but I thought Repin gave this piece a depth I had never heard before.
After three standing ovations from the audience, the young Siberian, modestly smiling and picking loose strands off his bow, played his one encore, a showpiece version of Carnival in Venice. The whimsical, funny performance must have used every virtuoso trick in the book.
Beethoven Violin Concerto in Concertgebouw (by Corine)
CD autographed after the concert
Wednesday, January 12, 2000,
at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Last week's performance was a concert in the series of 'Great Soloists' in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Vadim Repin was scheduled to play the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, and after the break the orchestra would play Beethoven's popular 5th Symphony.
Before the concert I went to the doorwaiter to ask if I could go backstage after the concert, but he didn't seem to understand me, so I was a little disappointed. The concert hall got completely filled - not only with music lovers, but also with employees of a company which sponsored the concert.
Then the time had come for the beginning of the concert.
There they came, Repin and Gergiev, the two Russian maestro's. Vadim stood very concentrated on stage during the orchestral part at the beginning of the Beethoven Concerto. And then he finally started playing. It felt like I was hypnotized by his carrying sound. During the low sections, for example near the end of part 1 and in the 2nd part, it was almost silent in the concert hall, very impressive. But there were also fireworks, like in the cadenza's. Repin played the Kreisler cadenza's with such an enormous speed, that I could hardly believe my ears. And it all seemed to go so naturally! A critic once said that Vadim Repin plays the violin just like other people breathe, and I completely agree with that.
But after three quarters of musical delight the Beethoven Concerto was really over. When the applause had stopped I tried to go backstage. And I succeeded, thanks to two helpful doorkeepers! Vadim Repin was really friendly but seemed to be very tired (what else would you expect after the Beethoven, the Concerto of concerto's...). I talked with him about the Vadim Repin Homepage that was made for him and I also asked him to sign the CD that I bought that day. See the photo for the result! (it says 'best of luck, Vadim Repin'). Then Repin left the concert hall, the break was over and it was time for Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
Although this symphony is almost 'over-played', this performance was really one of some new insights. Gergiev sometimes lifted out different groups of the orchestra, what made it a pleasure to listen to.
The whole concert was a great success (the reviews were also very good) and I'll keep good memories of it. I'm looking forward to the next time Vadim Repin will play in Holland, but I'm afraid he won't come again very soon. :-(
Repin at Hollywood Bowl (by Momo)
Thursday, August 5, 1999, 8:30 p.s. at Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Eri Klas, conductor
Vadim Repin, violin
Borodin: Overture to Prince Igor
Shostakovich: Vn Con. No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77
Mussorgsky - Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
BRAVO! That's all I had to say about incredibly well-performed Shostakovich violin concerto by Repin. I'm a regular concert goer. Although live performances are not perfect like CDs, I love live performances. On the stage, string players don't always get every notes right or they often make string sliding noise accidentally. However, to my ears, Repin did not miss any note (not even a single note!) and I didn't hear any sliding noise. He's got amazing techniques, variety of colors in timbre, expressions, intonations and interpretations... he's got everything! I must say that it was perfect. It was one of my very few "perfect performance at live" experiences. I feel that I saw something impossible. He began with Nocturne - first movement, very shady and it worked very well for this Shostakovich piece. (I felt same way when I listened to Mstislav Rostropovich playing Shostakovich cello concerto at live.) Passacaglia -third movement was very gentle, and he played impeccable Cadenza. Both Scherzo -second movement and Burlesque - last movement were the most exciting tempos I've ever heard. If Dmitri Shostakovich was still present and able to listen to Repin, I bet he would have dedicated this piece to Repin. It was a phenomenal performance.
To me, Hollywood Bowl is not a great concert hall because it's outside with all sort of noise like airplane, helicopter, traffic, etc... it allows to bring in food and drinks so people eat dinner, drink wine, beer, whatever and even drop the bottle on the floor sometimes! smoke cigarette, cigar... it's a picnic site. It is certainly a place to visit in the summer nights but not place to enjoy listening beautiful music. Tonight, I've learned that I can enjoy music anywhere if it is performed by a musician of the musician! People in the audience focused on not food or drink but music. We were mesmerized by Repin's absolutely fabulous timbre.
P.S. Not to mention, he is very friendly, sweet and charming on the backstage but he is a chain smoker!