From Philadelphia to Palm Beach to Carnegie Hall, Stefan's tour with the Russian National Orchestra last night was an unqualified success, with each performance garnering new rave reviews. See below for some of the highlights!
“The stirring young Stefan Jackiw…made the work his own: not only the beautiful melodies but also the skittish passages in which the tunes seem to be morphing and turning themselves inside out. He rendered them all with seeming ease and remarkable purity of tone, qualities he carried into his encore, the Largo from Bach’s Unaccompanied Violin Sonata in C, which he shaped beautifully.”
“Stefan Jackiw was soloist…refined and technically accomplished…this was the perfect hall for appreciating his great virtue of being able to play in an extreme whisper with absolutely no decay in sound quality.”
“Dressed in black from head to toe, he cut a stage presence as formidable as his talent. He tore into the impassioned first movement with the blistering intensity of a rock star, yet never lost command of his 1704 Ruggieri violin. The utter precision and rhythmic incisiveness of his playing were stunning. Refreshingly, Jackiw approached the sumptuous slow movement with an elegant poignancy. The fast finale delivered a daring mix of capriciousness and intensity, a combination Jackiw was never in danger of not pulling off.”
“Jackiw and Karabits were formidable partners, delivering a memorable reading. The soloist displayed not only a potent sound (helped here by the masterful orchestration), but an ability to phrase even unconventional phrases with utmost taste.”
“Is Jackiw the most underrated violinist on the concert scene today? This Harvard and New England Conservatory graduate is a musician of rare interpretive gifts. Jackiw’s impeccable technique and silvery tone strongly conveyed Prokofiev’s bittersweet lyricism. Even the tonal glow in Jackiw’s playing of the second theme in the opening Allegro moderato was tinged with a sense of tragic darkness.
In the second movement, he gave careful attention to the phrasing, shape and contour of the main melody, reminiscent of Prokofiev’s ballet scores. Jackiw’s initial lightness of bow and serene flow was succeeded by emphatic changes of mood and pace. The theme’s repetition was given full thrust and sinew against conductor Kirill Karabits’ churning accompaniment. Bereft of prettified accents, this was more angst-laden Prokofiev than one usually hears in this score.
Jackiw’s fierce attack and pungent rhythmic energy underlined the dance macabre of the finale, the double stops spot on and the intensity relentless up to the final chords. Karabits brought out the wind and brass writing and underlined the timpani’s important role in the final movement. A sense of edgy agitation pervaded the orchestral lines.”