Recital in Heidelberger Frühling Festival

This young man has a real thing for silence. A reputation to be a “violin whisperer” precedes him. In the recital hall of the Old Heidelberg University, Itamar Zorman fully lives up to it. Although he does not wear this reputation like a billboard advertisement. Still it is present even in the sound space of the grandly conceived and presented First Violin Sonata of Prokofiev. For example, when the violinist shrouds the piano of his collaborator Julien Quentin in a transparent veil of nearly weightless thirty-second notes. That is in the first movement.
In the second movement Zorman proves himself just as equal to the grotesque, rough and freakish aspects of the piece, yet in the last movement the delicate veil is back and underlines the cyclical, almost classicist character of the sonata. Zorman’s easy-going handling of the bow makes even a prestissimo by Hindemith (in the Sonata op. 31/1) into a statement for the whispering virtuosity. With unforeseen consequences: all the beefy, square aspects that Hindemith acquires in average or, rather, inadequate performances disappear. And the young Israeli can also narrate, bathe in perfume and nostalgia, as the 2011 Tchaikovsky winner proves in small Tchaikovsky pieces.
“Only the one who knows longing” one of the pieces is called. Zorman knows it and conjures it with the beguilingly sweet sound of his Guarneri. It looks like the succession to Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Shlomo Mintz is guaranteed. This impression does not need to be corrected in the Third Brahms Sonata. Especially since the about ten years older Quentin at the piano, acting with great overview, occasionally refers the youngster to the tougher sides of music. The inevitability with which Zorman heads for the climaxes shows artistic mastery. And: the “whisperer” is also quite capable of properly digging in., April 18th, 2013