Zoltán Kocsis places great emphasis on authenticity and precision
Two major works were programmed at the second evening of the National Philharmonic Orchestra's Beethoven series at Martonvásár, the Violin Concerto (with Barnabás Kelemen as soloist) and the Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony, conducted by Zoltán Kocsis. We heard the violin concerto in its transcription for piano last week in the first concert of the series. On Saturday it was performed in its original conception. Those who thought up the concert series deserve special praise for the idea – programs assembled to show this and similar hidden relationships between a composer's works made the three concerts into an exceptionally exciting musical event, alongside the excitement of each individual concert.
In spite of his young age, Barnabás Kelemn who belongs to the latest generation of Hungarian performers has much to be proud of – performing the Beethoven violin concerto with one of the greatest of Hungary's living musicians and in the company of the National Philharmonic Orchestra was a great challenge for him, and it was clearly apparent that he had prepared for the task with great care. He played the violin with virtuosity and a beautiful tone, and although young impetuosity brought the occasional harsh sound, and overly mannered phrases into his playing, his momentum, instinctive musicality, and the very high level of his interpretation of the Violin Concerto earned the audience's ovation.
The orchestra, which supplied the accompaniment perfectly to the violinist, performed the Sixth Symphony superbly and with beautiful sonorities. Kocsis audibly placed great weight on the authenticity of musical character and the precision of phrasing (the woodwind were beautifully shaped): Kocsis did not let up the intensity of concentration for a second, and confidently guided the orchestra through the pitfalls of this immense work that is not exactly an audience favourite. The audience listened to the performance with rapt attention befitting an important event and celebrated the superb artists and the conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra with immense applause.
(Fejér Megyei Hírlap, 22nd July 2002)