“Wonderfully fresh” Barber as Gil bring the “concertos of the 1930’s project” to the New York Philharmonic

Now in its fourth season, Gil’s long-term exploration of iconic “Violin Concertos of the 1930s” recently returned to his hometown orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, when Gil performed play Samuel Barber’s example of 1939 under the direction of Alan Gilbert. According to the New York Times, “this vivid and sensitive performance the Barber sounded wonderfully fresh. Mr. Shaham played the main theme of the first movement, one of those soaring, majestic Barber melodies, with plush sound and affecting restraint. He brought warmth touched with impetuosity to the contemplative slow movement, and his dazzling account of the perpetual-motion finale had flawless precision and gleeful command.”

Gil’s performance of Mozart’s “Turkish” concerto delights in Seattle and Pittsburgh

With ten concertos planned in the 2012-2013 season, Gil turned to one of his favorite, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish”, in recent performances with the Seattle and Pittsburgh Symphonies.    “Delight is perhaps the only word strong enough to describe the response that Gil Shaham’s performance evoked in the audience, this critic included,” gushed the Seattle Times; “there are standing ovations, and standing ovations. The one that greeted this performance was exceptionally full-throated.”  The Pittsburgh Post Gazette was equally enthusiastic when it reported that “Mr. Shaham was in his own world, and possibly in Mozart’s head… He seemed to be having the same experience with the soaring themes and poignant phrasing as Mozart did. He varied the violin’s timbre as he passed through the work, as if it were a dynamic written in the score. He knew when to grab for the grandiose, such as in the first theme the violin gets in the opening movement, and when to let the pure-toned chords speak for themselves. It was as if he was viewing the work as it developed compositionally, not just as notes to play.”

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