CD Reviews | CTD (Briefly Noted) | JFL (Dip Your Ears) | DVD Reviews


Biss and Fried

Style masthead

Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Violinist Miriam Fried and pianist son Jonathan Biss at Kennedy Center
Washington Post, March 24, 2011

available at Amazon
Beethoven, Violin Sonatas,
I. Faust, A. Melnikov
The performance of chamber music can be as intimate in tone as a family conversation across a dinner table. In four sonatas by Beethoven, violinist Miriam Fried and pianist Jonathan Biss carried out a fruitful series of such dialogues during their Fortas Chamber Music concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on Tuesday night.

Playing a 1718 Stradivarius once owned by Louis Spohr, Fried fostered a burnished, contained sound that was more maternal radiance than raw power. While her technique may not be quite as formidable as when she won first prize at the Queen Elisabeth competition in Belgium in 1971, her remarkable phrasing gave a sense of poetry to Biss’s more foursquare approach. As an accompanist, Biss shadowed Fried with filial devotion, while she steadied his tendency to push the fast tempos. It was Fried who nursed and caressed the phrases of the Fourth Sonata’s slow movement, for example, and brought out the arpeggiated extensions, like ecstatic cartwheels, in the 10th Sonata’s opening movement. [Continue reading]
Miriam Fried (violin) and Jonathan Biss (piano)
Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 2, 4, 5, 10
Fortas Chamber Music Series
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

If the tragedy of every man is not to become like his mother, as Oscar Wilde put it, Jonathan Biss has happily avoided that regrettable fate. (This was the final sentence of the review, but it was cut in the editing phase at the Post.)

Jonathan Biss with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at Strathmore: Mozart on the fast track (Washington Post, November 5, 2010)

No comments: