March 24, 2010
By Rich Termaat
The Vancouver Sun original link


Jennifer Koh, violin, and the Grant Park Orchestra under Carlos Kalmar

Four and a half stars out of five

Jennifer Koh made an impression on Vancouver Symphony-goers last month when she substituted for German-Japanese violinist Arabella Steinbacher and played the lights out of the Dvorak Violin Concerto. On this CD she does the same with two violin concertos that should be better known and get more play. The concertos are Karol Szymanowski’s 1916 Violin Concerto No. 1 and Bohuslav Martinu Violin Concerto No. 2 of 1943. Despite their provenance, the two concertos are quite accessible and interesting to listen to. The orchestra, a summer festival band that performs outside Chicago, is very supportive under maestro Carlos Kalmar and plays splendidly in this live recording. Bela Bartok’s Two Portraits, Op. 5, rounds out the recording in good style.

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