Ez történt

Mannerisms,  mannerisms

2002. 03. 15.

(…) The fifty four year old world star has been standing on concert podiums for forty years, and as both soloist and chamber musician, played all the classical-romantic repertoire a hundred times over. I don't even want to contemplate how many times he must have performed the Beethoven concerto which he played this evening. For us, he was performing it in Hungary for the first time. However, even if he himself is bored by it, it was perhaps not in the best of taste to make us sense it too.
Zukerman's violin sound is in no sense the bodily, sensually shimmering phenomenon that would form the basis for comparison with Iszhak Perlman. His tone is taut, and particularly in the upper registers, rather metallic. By the same token, it is no exaggeration to say his hands can accomplish anything. The left possesses unmistakable security of intonation. The right with exemplary economical movements, has an abundance of variety in its bowing. Zukerman seemed to be doing things to amuse himself, rather than to serve the work, when he inverted traditional bowings, broke heavy chords from bottom to up, and slid the delicate ornaments downwards, with an ease that defied gravity. He also entertained himself by introducing unstylistic overtones (as if performing Paganini's La Campanella) into the theme of the closing Rondo movement, and by deforming the poetic G minor episode into coffee house music. (…)
Kocsis soon made it clear in the orchestral introduction that he does not waver in his conviction that Beethoven's music is what must be interpreted. He executed his conception consistently and effectively to the end. It was perhaps more angular than the faint hearted might have desired, but with its unmercifully determined contours, possessed all the hallmarks of someone searching for the truth. After the break, the clearly deliberate ambiguity of Beethoven's Second Symphony was truly exciting: it came across as a creation that both faithfully adhered to the models of Haydn, while at the same time, questioning this inheritance through its excessive dimensions in all directions. Kocsis demonstrated this over abundance, this almost mannerist fullness in a multiplicity of ways. Kocsis believes that “molto” is the key word of this symphony. One of the basic gestures of his conducting is his brutal adherence to stresses (those fundamentals of Beethovenien violence), and by giving prominence to those elemental moments which grab us by the throat, such as the spiky F minor theme in the development section of the Allegro con brio. In the Larghetto, is was not so much the individual beauty of the melodies, sung through out, but rather their extraordinary abundance that became conspicuous. The National Philharmonic Orchestra was able to differentiate the immense sonorities, built up from ornaments layered upon one another, primarily through the precision of the string playing. In the scherzo and finale however, there were some difficulties experienced in following the driven tempos.
(Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Symphony no 2 – National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zoltan Kocsis, soloist Pinchas Zukerman, Budapest Congress Centre, March 3rd)

Peter Halász
(Élet és Irodalom, March 15th 2002.)