Bachtrack - Dvorak Concerto with the Halle Orchestra - Leeds

"Highlight of the first half of the concert was the performance of Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor from 1879, rendered by British violinist Jack Liebeck. Right at the outset of the concerto, after a short fanfare-like opening of the orchestra, the violinist gave an expressive solo entry into what was to become an excellent interpretation of Dvořák’s piece. Liebeck, always playing with a hundred per cent of energy and tension, proved to have a deep understanding of this music. With a sound that is considerably versatile and of a beautiful sonority in the lower register, he called forth a rich soundscape which met the challenges of the concerto.

In accord with Steffens, Liebeck finely balanced out all transitions, not least the fluent passage from the first to the second movement which, set in F major, seemed to emanate peacefulness. For the first time that evening, the orchestra raised to its full and wonderfully clear symphonic sound. Liebeck’s musical strength lies in the detail, shaping, if not at times celebrating, the individual characteristics of Dvořák’s music. In the third movement which starts with a gentle and playful furiant – a traditional Bohemian dance with a distinctive change of metre – Liebeck was at his best. He seemed to set exactly the right tone: cheerful and delicate, yet not without undertones of teasing and irony. He maintained his energy from the first to the last note, although occasionally he went over the top and some high-register passages came out a little too tense and forced."

Julia Zupanci