The evening ended with Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 2, which was initially written as a flute sonata after he had returned to the Soviet Union. It was the violinist David Oistrakh – a musician whose recordings Vengerov listened to as he grew up – who persuaded Prokofiev to make this a work for violin. The decision was inspired – and Vengerov used his rich vibrato technique to extract the full plaintive beauty from the opening of the Moderato movement. The Scherzo: Presto movement was so vigorous that he lost hairs from his violin bow while the final Allegro con brio movement combined snowstorms of notes with shivering melancholy.
The elated audience didn’t want it to end, and Vengerov and Osetinskaya were happy to feed the enthusiasm with three encores; Rachmaninov’s "Vocalise", Prokofiev’s March from The Love for Three Oranges
, and more Rachmaninoff in his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 18th
variation. It was a stylishly compelling end to an evening whose deceptively conventional façade concealed a thrilling range of emotions. Rachel Halliburton for Theartsdesk.comAll materials of the “Press” section →