In her tour with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin last month, Ms. Batiashvili and the ensemble brought their enchanting artistry to audiences in Ann Arbor, Kansas City, Iowa City, and Philadelphia. The program for the tour included Nico Muhly’s Liar Suite from Marnie, as well as Rachmanioff’s Symphonic Dances, with Ms. Batiashvili taking the stage in Tchaikovsky’s stunning Violin Concerto in D major.
Ms. Batiashvili and Maestro Nézet-Séguin have been longtime collaborators, with critics acclaiming the duo’s excellent rapport. See what critics thought of their recent tour below:
“From the first sweep of her bow, the familiar notes rang clear and true. Throughout the rhapsodic first movement, conducted at a brisk pace by Nézet-Séguin, Batiashvili brought a bright tone and nimble fingerings to a work that is as difficult as it is lovely. Throaty low notes and keen expression in the upper register made it seem fresh and new, an attitude reflected in the orchestra’s keen approach.
I love the way Nézet-Séguin engages with soloists, turning to face them, making eye contact with a smile of encouragement. But Batiashvili did not need encouragement from anyone. She was in command, and her spectacular reading of the cadenza — those high, individual notes clarion-clear and faultless — is something I am not going to forget.
In the second and third movements, the soloist alternated between lyricism and vigor, always in balance with the orchestra, maintaining a tone on her 1739 Guarneri violin as sensuous as liquid gold. Following a standing ovation, the soloist returned to play the sixth of the Six Romances by Tchaikovsky, concluding a concert full of adventure and unexpected delight.” (Broad Street Review)
“As for Tchaikovsky, one never outgrows his emotion-steeped melodies, especially as played by Batiashvili, whose freshness came from organizing the phrases in ways that made sense to her own ears — and thus to ours.
She played it as if it were the most important piece in the world…” (Philadelphia Inquirer)