The performance by violinist Enrico Onofri and the Imaginarium Ensemble was the highlight of the classical music calendar this year.
That is according to the Telegraph newspaper, which has compiled a list of the top ten “golden moments” from 2010.
According to the publication, among the many splendid performances seen throughout the year, “the wordless voice of a fiddle” was the one that stood out from the crowd.
The little-known violinist and his ensemble took to the stage at the Lufthansa Festival in St John’s Smith’s Square on May 22nd and has been lauded by the newspaper for offering something unique.
“Their performances of early Italian music brought a vanished way of feeling back to life. Onofri has made a life’s work out of reviving the violin’s sound in its early days in 17th-century Italy,” the publication explained.
“He holds his violin halfway down his shoulder like a folk fiddler and turns the instrument into a wordless voice, pleading, cajoling, lamenting. Compared to the extrovert, brilliant modern violin, Onofri’s sound seems as delicate as a reed and yet it’s always impassioned and enticingly strange.”
A number of other musicians and choral performers were also singled out on the Telegraph’s list, with the choir Sixteen deemed to have provided the Best Choral Moment for singing “great, craggy, rarely-heard monuments of Tudor” in April this year.
The Borodin Quartet was said to have offered the Best Chamber Moment for its performance of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Schnittke at Wigmore Hall on January 9th, while the Best Mahler Moment was perceived to be the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of the Seventh Symphony at the Bridgewater Hall in April.
BBC’s Total Immersion weekend and The South Bank’s “ambitious” survey of the complete works of Edgar Varese battled it out for Most Challenging Moment on the list.
And the Most Amusing Moment slot was awarded to French musician Joelle Leandre, who “impersonated a whole room full of different voices in John Cage’s “famous nonsense piece” Aria at the Huddersfield Festival on November 25th”.
A “superbly crafted” modernist piece from Cornelius Cardew, which was unheard since the 1960s, was deemed the best discovery and the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mitsuko Uchida were also praised for their orchestral and solo efforts respectively.
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