Concert Review: Nitzan Bartana - violin

She tossed off Violin Concerto No. 2 with brilliant virtuosity, ease and nonchalance.

JSO
Nitzan Bartana -violin
Kerry Startton - conductor
Jerusalem Theater
April 15
What came as a surprise at the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s concert last week was not so much its rather standard program, but 21-year-old Nitzan Bartana’s rendition of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
She tossed off this enormously demanding work with brilliantvirtuosity, ease and nonchalance, overcoming the formidable technicalhurdles effortlessly, as a matter of course. Her intonation wasimpeccably pure, her articulation incisive and
significant.Melodious themes were well-shaped, with an appealing songful sound.Even for many mature celebrity violinists this technically difficultwork is a formidable challenge. Paganini might have been pleased.
Somethingof a surprise was also Canadian conductor Kerry Startton, till nowunknown on these shores. In Rossini’s Silk LadderOverture, and then in Beethoven’s Symphony No.2, he struck a brisk, invigorating tempo, fast but notover-hurried, with no swallowed notes despite the speed. IntoBeethoven’s often-heard symphony he injected refreshing energies,overcoming the contempt that could have been bred by the work’sfamiliarity.