The Australian 25 July 2014 Murray Black
City Recital Hall, Sydney. July 23.
RUSSIAN musician Dmitry Sinkovsky is an extraordinary artist. He is equally proficient as a violinist and a countertenor. Imagine Fabio Biondi and Andreas Scholl embodied in the same performer, and you’ll have an inkling of what his concert with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra was like.
Three violin concertos formed the concert’s backbone. The performers’ distinctive approach to each of them paid rich dividends.
Admittedly, it took time to adjust to Sinkovsky’s way with the violin concerto RV 177. He periodically infused his light, almost feathery tone with an abrasive edge to achieve an evocative effect. For Sinkovsky, beauty of sound for its own sake was not the overriding concern.
Nonetheless, this was still a fine account. The ABO’s well-blended, tight-knit accompaniment stylishly underpinned its soloist’s characterful realisation.
The performers’ reading of RV 246, by contrast, offered a thrilling explosion of raw energy. The ABO’s hard-hitting dynamic surges and forceful rhythmic drive matched the soloist’s extended double-stopping passages and powerful staccato attack. Sinkovsky’s richer, deeper timbre particularly suited his exquisite slow movement solo.
The final violin concerto, RV 242, was a virtuosic tour de force. Returning to the lighter-toned realms of the RV177 concerto but without the abrasiveness, Sinkovsky delivered a spectacularly flamboyant performance, executing the rapid-fire bariolage and repeated sequential passages with scintillating bravura.
As a countertenor, Sinkovsky’s approach is similar to his violin-playing incarnation. Creating a convincing interpretation is just as important as achieving a beautiful sound.
Fortunately, the latter is not neglected. In the Cantata RV 684 Cessate, omai cessate, he displayed firm-voiced clarity, superb dynamic control and a seamlessly fluid line. However, what made his account so compelling was its dramatic variety of colour and impassioned immediacy.
Sinkovsky’s vocal encore — Cara sposa from Handel’s Rinaldo — was dedicated to the victims of the recent Malaysia Airlines MH17 atrocity. His intensely expressive performance of this soulful lament was a moving tribute.
ABO lead cellist Jamie Hey took centre stage in the RV 421 cello concerto. Maintaining an appealing, warm-toned sound, he impressed with his clear articulation and refined lyricism.
Concert repeated tonight, tomorrow, Wednesday, Friday, City Recital Hall, Sydney.
August 2 and 3, Melbourne Recital Centre.