“Mintz was technically brilliant, showing off his exquisite left hand technique... After an avalanche of Violin's Most Scary Techniques,
... delivered with flawless intonation, over extreme terrain, I knew that I had witnessed one of the most memorable performances of my life..”
Ysaÿe Sonatas Op. 27
A personal interpretation of Ysaÿe Sonatas
by Shlomo Mintz
Violin Masters: Shlomo Mintz
Deutsche Grammophone releases a compilation CD with the finest recordings of Shlomo Mintz
Shlomo Mintz & R. Prosseda
Mendelssohn Concerto for violin, piano and strings D minor
Pianist Magazin (Germany)
There's no doubt about his virtuosity and intonation, but it has repeatedly been criticized, that he's too much relying on his opulent tone. Meanwhile, the 61-year-old moved away from this way to play. It is true: he still has a wonderfully rich melodiousness on the G-chord at his disposal, but he now also knows how to differentiate in piano and with Prosseda falls into an inspired dialogue."
Their play is positively compared with the recordings of Kremer/Argerich and van Keulen/Bautigam. "In spite of the moderate tempi", their play is " buoyant and full of spontaneity and freshness without drifting into an etude-like playing as Kremer/Argerich do in the final movement."
In the violin concerto, "Mintz doesn't force the tempi neither and impresses by a warm sound and beautiful cantilenas."
"One and multiple, Shlomo Mintz collects the legacy of the six predecessors (Szigeti, Thibaud, Enescu, Kreisler, Crickboom, Quiroga) and the demiurge Ysaÿe. He works deeply on the text, with a philological emphasis in the comparison between sources, manuscripts and versions but also with artist's freedom in selecting the solutions that best distill his reading of the Sonatas, with the spirit of a deep and sincere homage. The summa of an artistic thought declined in the dedication to six violinists, returns in the bow of a single interpreter to investigate that thought, its unity, and its multiplicity.
That Mintz is one of the greatest living violinists is not a mystery, but even more of the impeccable technique, of the absolute domination of sound and intonation, it makes the capacity to unravel a text like this in unity and multiplicity, to disguise the hidden melody, the echo of Bach and the specter of the unknown future always maintain a recognizable identity of interpreter and creator which follows the technique of creation of a single thought."
.... Renunciation – on the purpose - to the frills of dazzling virtuosity of his beginnings, in favor of a measured style that leaves the fieriest skeptical, but exhibits an unparalleled elegance and timbre beauty. Not a stretch mark, neither of sound nor of form. And then, a simply sublime cantabile. Brahms also comes, in large part, faced with the same aplomb, and gains the innumerable and insidious nuances of the great German composition.
And in the Finale the master begins to roar. Prokofiev's Dances exhibit the taste for the miniature, the unusual nuances and the amused kitsch that Mintz captures and returns lightly. The impervious second sonata, on the other hand, is all increasing, starting from the initial theme that is proposed several times, but always animated by different nuances, as minimal as revealing the profound musical intelligence of the Master, punctually followed by Sittig.
The encore devils, in terms of invaluable virtuosity: Fantasy on the "Golden Cockerel" by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Throughout the concert, Mintz holds the audience in suspense with a sort of laconic "I would like, but I can't", and in the closing, he indulges his whim of nailing everyone to the armchairs.
Well, he really can!
Messina, Dec. 2019
© Alessandra Saccà
"Live performances of Ysaye are often limited to single sonatas or shorter single-movement sonatas (notably Sonata Nos. 3 and 6) as encores.
To hear all six sonatas in a single sitting was a rare and unusual luxury, so amply illustrated by Russia-born Israeli violinist Shlomo Mintz, presently the Artist-in-Residence of the Singapore International Violin Competition 2018 and Ong Teng Cheong Professor of Music.
Those who remember his Deutsche Grammophon recordings of solo Bach and Paganini will be pleased that he has lost none of the phenomenal technique, tonal lustre and impeccable musicianship that distinguished those albums.
Without pomp or ceremony, Mintz emerged from the wings and played as if his entire existence depended on it."
Chang Tou Liang
"When the Cleveland Orchestra performed, soloist Shlomo Mintz played notes that literally cried out for the silenced ..."
CBS News (America)
"The sound Shlomo Mintz channeled in Beethoven's Violin Concerto, was beautiful, precise and polished and couldn’t be faulted from the deepest to the highest of notes. The soloing was noble, never gratuitously showy and always alert to the orchestra.
Had the concert hall’s roof caved in, there was such gravitas in Mintz’ brilliant delivery, the magnificence of his singing violin would have continued.."
Limelight Magazine (Australia)
“A wonderful sound. The violin of Shlomo Mintz sounded yesterday as rarely happens in the auditorium Prince Felipe de Oviedo.
On top of that Mintz simultaneously conducted two of the three works in the program… Resounding success ... What else to say to the awesome encores "Obsession" Sonata No. 2 Ysayë or the excellent cadence in Vieuxtemps Concerto”
""And though it's a fact that his technique was impeccable, his violin playing went far beyond mere appreciation, far beyond a performance which someone could simply call beautiful, well done or something like that. Shlomo Mintz's interpretation of Sibelius' Concerto was transparent, clear, never shallow or impersonal, tremendously emotional at times and so deeply committed that it lifted everyone to a higher dimension.
Proceso Magazine (México)
"Equipped with only his violin and Paganini’s Caprice No.24, Mintz blew us away with a magnanimous onslaught of violin technique... By the time interval began we were left breathless, wondering how we could ever listen to a violin in the same way again."
Mustapha Hendricks & Lutz Manzelmann (South Africa)