Violinist is a joy to watch

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 12 July 2010

Halle Orchestra, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

SPELLBINDING is the only way to describe Berlin-born Sophia Jaffe’s exhilarating performance at Saturday’s Halle-hosted promenade concert.

The exciting young violinist was stunning in Max Bruch’s ultra-popularviolin concerto.

It was pure pleasure to watch and hear her interpretation of a piece of music from a composer who is often regarded as something of a one-hit wonder — this being the hit in question.

Jaffe put her heart and soul into the performance and was duly rewarded by an enthusiastic audience which insisted she return to the stage to accept their praise not once, but twice, and even then the clapping continued.

The violinist gives concerts and recitals throughout Europe and across the world, so it was a real treat to see her perform in Manchester.

Her second offering of the evening, Beethoven’s Romance No 2 was not as challenging, but nevertheless wonderful to hear, and she was, as ever, ably backed by the polished Halle Orchestra.

The stage at the Bridgewater Hall provided a showcase for young talent on Saturday, with Scottish conductor Rory MacDonald, still in his 20s, magnificently holding the concert together.

He is in the course of making his debuts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company and is a certainly a name to watch.

The rest of Saturday’s concert comprised Mendelssohn’s ever-popular Hebrides or Fingal’s Cave Overture and Beethoven’s fifth symphony.

The Halle Orchestra gave its usual assured performance in each case.