You may have read the news that Julia Fischer was chosen to receive the 2007 Artist of the Year award by Gramophone. Ironically, at just 24 years old, she is 7 years younger than the winner of the Young Artist of the Year award, conductor Vasily Petrenko. To celebrate, here is a look back at some of the fawning things we have written about the sound of Fischer's violin here at Ionarts.
Jens F. Laurson, Khachaturian Concerto with the NSO (March 16, 2007):
Her playing is neither showy nor ever-pushing emotional boundaries; it convinces by sheer quality and that air of irreproachability that lends, if anything, a cool touch to her tone. It was, especially in the Andante sostenuto, of such beauty that it had to be admired, even if not necessarily fallen in love with. [...] With performances like this one, or last year’s with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (in the Beethoven concerto with Temirkanov conducting), she is well on her way to becoming one of the world’s foremost violinists. The chance to hear her should not be missed.Charles T. Downey, Recording of Tchaikovsky Concerto (January 4, 2007):
Once again, Julia Fischer has exceeded expectations. [Her] technique is ferocious, heard in spades live and in recordings, and the fire in her playing on this disc is unquenchable, especially in the concerto's third movement (Finale: Allegro vivacissimo). However, what really stands out after repeated listening is the subtlety of her soft playing, as in the eerily ethereal cadenza to the first movement (Allegro moderato), and the admirable taste in how she crafts each movement with daring strength and spidery grace.CTD, Recording of Mozart Concerti (November 16, 2006):
[S]he has composed her own cadenzas and added her own ornamentation (in the booklet, she shares credit for their composition with Yakov Kreizberg). On a purely technical level, Julia Fischer is on par with the more experienced Anne-Sophie Mutter. However, this recording provides what Jens found lacking in Mutter's performances, in which technical flair seemed "blatant and gratuitous virtuosity in a work that has natural beauty to offer" (as Jens described Mutter's reading of no. 4). Fischer's playing is guileless, which is certainly not to say unsensitive or square.JFL, Beethoven Concerto with the BSO (May 26, 2006):
[Fischer] is building her career judiciously, step by step with great care, some well-applied self-restraint, and what seems an immaculate intellectual grasp. This was an example of 45 minutes of music-making as it should be – and the audience sensed it: the longest standing ovation and sustained applause (did anyone at all sneak out into intermission?) I have witnessed at Meyerhoff Hall forced an encore out of her: Paganini’s Caprice No. 2 in B Minor; delicately sawed out of the musical material if perhaps not ideally prepared.CTD, Recording of the Solo Bach Works (November 17, 2005):
For a consistently beautiful tone production, you would be better off buying the Julia Fischer recording. [T]he youthful idealism of the recording -- and the rich tone of Fischer's 1750 Guadagnini violin -- hooked me.You will have the chance to hear Julia Fischer later this month, when she appears with Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in a concert at the Kennedy Center, sponsored by Washington Performing Arts Society (October 23, 8 pm). She will play the Beethoven violin concerto -- will it be a repeat of her stunning performance of that work with the BSO? You have to be there to find out. Tickets remain.