THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Alexander Kerr

Review: Brahms 2 | Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center


Off Balance

The Dallas Symphony and concertmaster Alexander Kerr take on Prokofiev and Brahms.



published Friday, March 17, 2017

Photo: Courtesy
Alexander Kerr

Dallas — Alexander Kerr is an outstanding concertmaster for the Dallas Symphony. His interpretation of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major Thursday night established his technical and musical chops as a soloist, too.

There was only one problem, though, and it was a big one: balance was so problematic as to render Kerr largely inaudible for extended passages in all three movements. While Kerr could have played out more, mitigating the problem somewhat, there’s a limit to the volume a string player can produce before it begins to have a negative effect on his tone. So the other solution is to turn the orchestra down. The large string sections are certainly appropriate to the time period of this modernist concerto, but are they really mandatory? Perhaps better to have slightly smaller sections, get those sections to back off a bit, and let Kerr’s light shine more fully.

If it was a strain to hear Kerr, it was worth the work. This is a fascinating concerto—it begins with a lyrical, Andantino movement, rather than the more traditional Allegro. The initial melody is marked “sognando,” or “dreamy.” Kerr demonstrated his ability to weave a beautiful melodic line here. It was the second, contrasting theme that was more problematic; it is intended to be more forceful, but that overbalance problem interfered. Prokofiev reportedly said of this section, “Play it as though you’re trying to convince someone of something.” Kerr does have remarkably resonant pizzicato; the pizzicato passage in this movement was one of the few times when the balance was very nearly perfect.

The second movement, marked Scherzo; Vivacissimo showcases the violinist’s technical chops. Kerr is a fabulous, virtuosic vehicle for its brilliance, but again, sometimes that brilliance disappeared into the fabric of the orchestra. In the final movement, Prokofiev turns again to lyricism, and again, the beauty of Kerr’s playing was evident, but there simply wasn’t enough projection, even given the delicacy of this concerto.

Conductor Jaap van Zweden brought out an even larger orchestra for Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major (the key of the evening, evidently). The orchestra was at its best for this performance, with brilliant ensemble and meticulous yet intense playing. String playing in particular was outstanding. The first movement proceeded at a bit faster clip than we may be accustomed to hearing, interfering a bit with the tranquil mood of the movement, but on the whole, Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra do Brahms about as well as anyone can. The triumphant, brass-heavy end of the fourth and final movement was truly thrilling. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Off Balance
The Dallas Symphony and concertmaster Alexander Kerr take on Prokofiev and Brahms.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Electra Watertower TCU Jazz Festival Topsy Turvy Turtle Creek Chorale Eisemann Center Presents Firehouse Theater It Should Have been you Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit