You Review: Sergey Antonov

US reader Nicky Kronenberg relishes a performance of Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1

You Review: Sergey Antonov

In recital with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston under conductor David Angus, the young Russian cellist and Tchaikovsky Gold Medalist, Sergey Antonov, performed Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 1. In the hands of this gifted musician, the concerto was a world apart. Antonov was one of the youngest to win the Tchaikovsky, among many awards, and now performs globally to acclaim. A genial interpreter, this young musician’s virtuosity exceeds expectation. Even the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich considered him 'a brilliant cellist.'

Saint-Saëns's First Cello Concerto, completed in 1872, is one of the most challenging there is for a soloist. Antonov combined inner soul, compelling artistry and formidable technique in a bravura performance. Written as one continuous movement, differentiated by three sections, the concerto opens with the cello as its driving force, something which showcased Antonov’s technique. In the second phase, defined by a more gentle mood, his interpretation showed the kind of nuanced artistry which can take this instrument to peak performance. The orchestra returns to the opening theme for the final section, while the cello alternates between technical and lyrical displays. Both were carried to a masterful conclusion.

Antonov’s music affords a momentary reprieve in a world with far less harmony. Perhaps it is the music in our soul we should turn to for a more peaceful future.


– Nicky Kronenberg, Boston (USA)



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