Review: Tolstoy and Beethoven in New York

A belated review of the Tolstoy/Beethoven concert back in November.

Hence the talks which are such a crucial component of the ASPECT program came from one of the artists—most engagingly—from one of the artists, Ignat Solzhenitsyn… The Bard Conservatory has initiated a multidisciplinary program, which gives young musician a liberal arts education along with their musical training, requiring the members of its Orchestra NOW to give their audience a personal, but informed introduction to the works they play. Mr. Solzhenitsyn’s rich and personable presentation seemed an ideal they could strive for… Mr. Solzhenitsyn had a distinguished partner in Mark Steinberg, violinist in the Brentano Quartet, which replaced the Tokyo Quartet in residence at Yale. They played an energetic, even exuberant “Kreutzer,” tightly knit, but allowed to breathe, enhanced by characterful phrasingeven idiosyncratic in places—which gave the performance an engaging personal stamp.