Poème (Chausson et al.), J. Fischer
Paganini, 24 Caprices, J. Fischer
Opening a first-half pairing of Austrian music was a tender, almost rhapsodic reading of Mozart's B♭ major violin sonata, K. 454. The fast movements were plenty fast, revealing Ukrainian pianist Milana Chernyavska and her agile, clean touch at the keyboard to be a fine match for Fischer. The slow movement had a leisurely elegance, with a rueful turn to minor, while the closing movement, in a chipper duple pulse, had a blithe, tripping quality. The Mozart overshadowed Schubert's Rondo brillant in B Minor, D. 895, that followed it, a piece that even the strong musicianship on hand could not quite validate. Fischer and her accompanist gave the melting aria in the middle a melancholy tinge and some dramatic turns elsewhere, but it does go on. It confirmed my feelings about Fischer's recordings of the Schubert violin pieces -- and the pieces themselves, in some cases -- as less than captivating.
Anne Midgette, Violinist Julia Fischer shows both focus and range in Sixth and I Synagogue recital (Washington Post, February 20)
Larry Fuchsberg, Violinist's sound fills the Ordway Center (Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 17)
Rob Hubbard, Violinist Julia Fischer dazzles with Debussy range in Schubert Club recital (Twin Cities Pioneer Press, February 15)
This full meal was capped by three encores, none of them expected chestnuts, beginning with a nod to the venue's beginnings as a synagogue, Ernst Bloch's Nigun, the second movement of Baal Shem, an impassioned cantillation. Piling on the diversions, Fischer followed it with Tchaikovsky's Mélodie, op. 42/3, from Souvenir d’un lieu cher, and an Andante movement by Eugène Ysaÿe, composed as the slow movement of an abandoned concerto.
The next WPAS recital will feature pianist Yefim Bronfman (March 2, 8 pm), in the Music Center at Strathmore.