Nelida Nassar 02.28.2015
In this last week of February, Boston is still covered with snow, courtesy of a series of harsh winter storms, but inside Symphony Hall the atmosphere is anything but cold. The public eagerly awaits the appearance of maestro Charles Dutoit. The concert opens with the economically written Concerto in E flat, dubbed the Dumbarton Oaks, by Stravinsky. Without losing sight of that composer’s acid incisiveness and syncopation, Dutoit enriches his interpretation of this work by having the orchestra evoke, fleetingly but fittingly, elements of Alban Berg, Paul Hindemith and Richard Strauss. The program continues in a very different vein, with Debussy’s lush Images for Orchestra, where brass and percussion are forcefully present. Here one’s mind easily turns to thoughts of colorful paintings of Monet.
Julia Fischer, the soloist of the evening, enters in a green and black sequined dress. Exploiting a wide range of expressive means, she offers an original interpretation of a familiar masterpiece, Brahm’s Concerto in D. Her playing, always exacting, also exudes fluidity and rhythmic verve. Her radiant interpretation of the concerto is surely one of the most accomplished ones that can be heard today of this monument of the Romantic repertoire. Perfect left hand, vibrato of a rare poetry, haunting sound, efficient bow technique — Fischer amazes one with her total mastery of the instrument.
Daughter of a mathematician and of a piano teacher, Fischer began playing the piano at age 3, and a year later started the violin. At 6 years old, her first public concert, as a violinist, sealed her fate. “But I have not stopped playing the piano. On returning from school, it was two hours of violin practice, a glass of water, and two hours of piano. Nobody forced me, it was my passion.” And that passion, which never abated, is contagious.
The purity of Fischer’s sound — supported by her uncanny ability to combine the gymnastic bowing of a Heifetz, the stylishness of a Milstein, and the intensity of a Kreisler — could conquer any audience. As an encore she performs the last movement of the Sonata in G Minor by Hindemith. The public left the concert hall absolutely smitten.