The Winner's Tour.
By Sergey Malov and Michael Houstoun.
Chamber Music New Zealand.
The Speirs Centre, Saturday, June 9.
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher.
It is clear that the Winner's Tour, by the winner of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, is gaining due regard throughout the country, and this latest tour by last year's winner, Sergey Malov, can only enhance the reputation of the competition.
With an already impressive list of international successes, Malov is an extraordinary musician. His programme was an example of supreme technical brilliance as it included Schubert's Sonata in A, here arranged for viola and piano, with Bartok's Sonata for Solo Violin, Schumann's Sonata No 1 for piano and violin and Paganini's La Campanella. The Viola Sonata was rich in glorious melody performed with beautiful tone and marvellous sensitivity, while the Bartok solo violin sonata was a marvel of technical wizardry. Schumann's violin sonata was expressively performed with great empathy and La Campanella was a delight.
Accompanying Malov throughout much of the programme was the "national treasure" pianist Michael Houstoun. Well-recognised as a soloist, Houstoun proved to have equally marvellous sensitivity as an accompanist, responding readily to every nuance provided by the soloist and it was obvious they enjoyed performing with each other.
A wonderful evening of mastery!
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