There was so much interest in earlier pieces about Jorja’s Elgar Violin Concerto with us in Pendleton and then the Minnesota Orchestra last week, that I thought I would post some reviews.
First, Larry Fuchsberg in the Star Tribue writes-
Though Fleezanis has only lately taken up the Elgar concerto, she seems to have this music in her DNA. From her first perfectly gauged entrance, she managed to sound strong and vulnerable, declarative and reserved all at once; she danced Elgar’s dance of self-revelation and self-concealment with uncanny sensitivity. Her tone was almost corporeal, especially in the violin’s lower register; her ravishing pianissimos drew the listener toward her instrument.
You can read the entire review here. You may also be interested to read Larry’s comment on my last Fleezanis blog post here, which has some very interesting background on early recordings of the Elgar. I’m always excited to find someone who knows Elgar and the performance and recording history of his music well, especially if they’re in America (shameless upcoming performance plug- I’m conducting Elgar’s Symphony no. 1 with the Gulf Coast Symphony next fall on the 100th anniversary of the premiere).
David Hawley in the Pioneer Press writes-
The performance by Fleezanis is transporting. She produces a wonderfully thick, sizzling sound, especially in the lower register, where the majority of the singing in this concerto takes place. And yet there is a pleasing restraint to her reading, which is welcome. You don’t need to milk the emotion in this concerto; it’s there in abundance.
The highlight is the famous third-movement accompanied cadenza — and here Fleezanis managed to command pin-drop attention in Thursday’s first performance. Her playing was bold — almost assaultive at times — robust and heartfelt.