RTE Orchestra Dublin, Stanislav Kochanovsky
Sokolov’s rich, warm tone on the G string over the mesmeric harp plucking instantly impressed in Bartók’s Violin Concerto no. 2. Possessing an intense vibrato which he employed liberally, Sokolov attacked his fast passages with bravura. His was an intense, serious reading of the first movement which suited the slow, haunting melody of the second subject but perhaps lacked a little bit of chutzpah in the zanier, jazzier sections of this movement. The NSO responded with much verve, its ominous passages full of menace.
In the Andante tranquillo Sokolov produced a shimmering tonal palette coaxing the folk theme along, particularly on its final iteration. Rudely interrupting this dreamlike state, the finale launched with some spectacular spiccato and gypsy lightness of touch while the orchestra provide some sharp bursts of colours.