Philadelphia Inquirer: Violin Concerto Review

Review of Paul Moravec’s Violin Concerto, March 1, 2013 by David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic

The Moravec concerto dates from 2010 but arrived at Symphony in C on Friday in revised form, with authoritative soloist Maria Bachmann and a much clearer train of thought as it walks a delicate line between melodiousness and a subterranean thread that gives it long-term continuity. Imagine Delius minus the attention deficit disorder.

As in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the soloist’s entrance is usually quiet, a stealthy start on a soft bed of orchestral tone clusters, setting the stage for music that feels tonal but has the more open-ended sense of direction associated with atonal music. Often, I wondered “Where are we? Where are we headed?” – and felt fine not knowing.

The second movement was shaded by modal Eastern influences, giving the music an attractive foreign accent, though one so integrated into the overall sound picture that I couldn’t spot the origin.

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