Strings 25/10/2011
On Stage: Jean-Guihen Queyras & the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Queyras soloed in five concertos, playing a spikeless cello with a pointy Baroque bow. His performance was spotless. In the Cello Concertos in F major (RV 412), G minor (RV 416), and A minor (RV 419), he showed just how freely a soloist can play when totally unencumbered by technical difficulty: rubatos dictated by the musical rhetoric, bravura ascending runs in 16ths that took flight, earthy stabs of the bow at the hell in rapid string-crossing, and big virtuoso cadences ending with the whole bow in an up bow. In the solo movements the melodies rang out with unforced purity...Beautifully refined playing like this, unpretentious and so relaxed, takes years of training and experience to achieve...Always precise, with an ear for colours and textures (and the occasional improvisando flourish), this is exactly how Vivaldi should be played.