Violinist Kyoko Takezawa Performs Barber at VSO / by Granville Street

Kyoko Takezawa was emotional, passionate, and spectacular to watch as she performed Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op.14 at the Orpheum Theatre on Jan. 22 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO).

What was it like? Amazing; simply amazing. The bitter sad mood of each note from her violin made me want to cry. Her body swayed as though acting out the bitter emotions of the piece. The first two movements continued in this Romantic style, and each passage delivered the lyrical yet somewhat haunting phrases as Barber intended. However, it was the third movement that took my breath away.

The third movement was completely different from the first two. It was fast and light, and the speed and intensity reminded me of The Flight of The Bumblebee. Her fingers flew over the violin strings like busy bees. The difficulty of this piece can be affirmed by Briselli, the first pianist Barber took the music to, who called this movement unplayable; yet there Takezawa was, not struggling, but controlling the movement in a playful yet powerful demeanor. This movement was over too quickly and many of the audience quickly stood up, yelling “bravo” and “encore” throughout the Orpheum, dying to hear more of Kyoko Takezawa. She bowed for a long time, exiting and re-entering the stage to bow again, yet gave no encores. The crowd was comforted with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony No.6 in A Major, a work by Anton Bruckner, to end the night. If you want a taste of Kyoko Takezawa’s performance, check out this video:

For many in the know, a night at a VSO performance does not begin their evening. VSO offers special deals with nearby restaurants; and for those looking for a fancy night out, this is it. The Wedgewood Hotel, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Four Seasons Hotel to name a few, are some places that offer special rates for VSO ticketholders to start a fantastic evening with a friend or partner. Dress up, enjoy a nice meal, then off to VSO to mingle and chat in the splendid hall at the Orpheum. The décor is classic and elegant. If you are there early, attend a pre-concert talk, or you can enjoy the scenery with a glass of wine from VSO’s theatre concession and chat with your guest. A night out to VSO is usually a special treat for many couples looking for romance and elegance or a special evening for the music lovers. Which one are you?