The Scotsman

"MAX Bruch was not a one-hit wonder. Nor even a two-hit wonder if you count his Scottish Fantasia alongside the ever-popular Violin Concerto.


City Halls, Glasgow


And the evidence was there in duplicate on Monday night, as British violinist Jack Liebeck joined the BBC SSO in performances of the outwardly virtuosic Second Violin Concerto (there are actually three) and the gorgeous Konzerstück for violin and orchestra.

These were typical Liebeck performances, a robust and solid delivery characterised by nimble technique and purity of tone. The Violin Concerto No 2 is ferociously difficult, a real showpiece for its original performer (Sarasate), where showmanship and musicianship square up on equal footing.

Liebeck took most of it in his stride and played a boisterous game of duck and dive with conductor Martyn Brabbins, whose control of the orchestral artillery – Bruch hits out with some meaty tuttis – was balsy and bright.

The Konzerstück called for a more reflective response, which Liebeck and the SSO gave in abundance, the violinist’s golden tone drawing myriad nuances from Bruch’s exquisite melodies."

Ken Walton