Victor Brown Endowed Chair in Violin and Associate Professor of Violin Akemi Takayama, M.M., performed the “Concerto for Violin and Violoncello, op. 102 in A Minor” by Johannes Brahms with Grammy Award winner Zuill Bailey and the Roanoke Symphony as conducted by David Stewart Wiley in May.
“The Brahms — the first concerto of its kind — ranks as one of the more challenging scores in the string repertoire, both technically and musically. In rendering large orchestral ideas for solo violin and cello, Brahms seemed to place almost superhuman demands on the duo.
Takayama and Bailey, at every stage of the work, matched the passion and sweep of Wiley’s orchestra. The commingling of their tone and temperament fused perfectly with the orchestra’s big-boned sound. In this opening movement, the tension between solo virtuosity and orchestral dominance manifests an oscillation between light and darkness, a common trope in Brahms. Takayama’s and Bailey’s commanding duo embodied the metaphor’s imaginative space with nimble shifts between urgent drive and radiant tenderness. A memorable performance!”
Visit roanoke.com to read and listen to the full review.