Nicola Benedetti playing at the BBC Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on July 18, 2017 (Photo credit: BBC/Chris Christodolou)
Nicola Benedetti had a massive success earlier this week in her return to the BBC Proms, the world’s most famous classical music festival! A favorite of Proms audiences, she graced the stage of London’s Royal Albert Hall in a riveting performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with Thomas Søndergård and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
In his review of the performance, Ivan Hewitt of The Telegraph exclaimed: “Benedetti gave the Shostakovich an unaccustomed sweetness. Even at the moment when the line rises to a pitch of anguish, the violin perched high above harsh discords, she kept that seraphic tone. She can certainly summon a headlong rhythmic energy, as she proved in the furiously energetic finale.”
Gavin Dixon of The Arts Desk wrote: “Nicola Benedetti was the star of this show, no doubt about that. She is a Proms regular and favourite, attracting a large and enthusiastic audience, the Royal Albert Hall filled almost to capacity. And she didn’t disappoint, giving a performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto that demonstrated all her strengths: precision, focus, variety of colour and mood, but above all the passion and conviction needed to make sense of this long and emotionally complex work.”
Geoff Brown of The Times of London gave top praise: “In terms of sheer technique, I’m not sure if I’ve heard this magnificent work better played. From the sorrowing nocturne through the fiendish cadenza to the hurtling finale, Benedetti’s warmth, polish and laser-like fingering never wobbled. Whatever she plays, Benedetti remains a great communicator.”
Andrew Morris gave a 4-star review in Bachtrack, describing the performance as: “one of the finest performances of this masterpiece that I’ve yet heard”.
David Gutman of Classical Source commented: “Throughout, the violinist impressed with her unaffected emotional sympathy as well as her fine tuning and variety of sound and articulation.”
Click here to listen to Nicola Benedetti’s BBC Proms performance. Link expires August 17th.
Click on the below link to listen to Benedetti’s encore of Robert Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne”, arranged by Petr Limonov (link expires August 17th):