Violin Virtuoso Itzhak Perlman
Is Thrilling and Enthralling at the MPAC
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman graced the stage at the Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) on November 16, 2013. Soundpress.net is more likely to cover classic rock shows rather than classical but when we heard that an artist of Itzhak's caliber was going to be at the MPAC we were on board for this concert.

Violin Virtuoso Itzhak Perlman Is Thrilling and Enthralling at the MPAC

Itzhak Perlman was born in Israel in 1945. At a young age he was drawn to the violin. Itzhak studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv and later at the Juilliard School in New York City. Perlman came into the public light in 1958 when he performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Since then Itzhak has become a world class violinist known for his charisma and his pure joy in playing music. Perlman has worked with many of the major orchestras with some concerts being of historic proportions. Itzhak was one of the first Western artists to perform in Eastern bloc countries and Russia. He is also a conductor, educator, musical adviser, singer and a speaker for the disabled.

Itzhak holds a number of awards, honorary degrees along with a collection of Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Award (2008). Perlman has played for presidents and royalty. Yet, he has also appeared on TV shows ranging from Sesame Street to The Tonight Show. Perlman is musician for all ages.

The stage set up at the MPAC was straightforward with dark curtains, stationary lighting and a Steinway grand piano in the center. There was a diverse group of fans in the theater including youngsters. Soon after eight, Itzhak along with pianist Rohan De Silva took the stage. Rohan also has an impressive resume. De Silva has performed at plenty of prestigious venues and he has played with a variety of artists including Joshua Bell.

Sitting side by side Perlman and De Silva performed Sonata No. 3 by Beethoven (1770-1827). The piece was a beautiful blend of stanzas. Both musicians were melding different techniques into their playing for enhanced effects. The audience was attentive allowing for all the intricate stellar sounds from both instruments to be heard clearly.

The music was a delicate dance of two distinct masters. Itzhak had many moves from short to long bow draws mixed in with other technical maneuvers along with dramatic pauses. He was potent and precise. Next, they played a Strauss (1864-1949) Sonata. The complex composition was magical and mesmerizing with both players flowing smoothly through all the colorful changes in the piece.

After a brief intermission Itzhak and Rohan returned to play the "Devil's Trill" by Tartini (1692-1770). The Sonata had teasing trills with both men melding more tricky techniques into the exchange. Afterwards, Perlman greeted the crowd with some chat about the next series of songs that the duo presented including the sensitive "Schindler's List Theme" composed by John Williams. Another piece that they performed had a spirited almost bouncy tempo that one could picture being played at an elegant ball. They concluded the concert with Antonio Bazzini's "Dance of the Goblins". It was a fast and feisty classical piece that ended the show with flair.

Itzhak Perlman with Rohan De Silva showcased a broad range of compositions that were presented with passion. During the second part of the concert Itzhak charmed the crowd with his humor and knowledge of composers. Soundpress.net enjoyed this show. We left with a greater appreciation of classical music and were honored to have experienced a violinist of Mr. Perlman's caliber.

The Mayo Performing Arts Center is a nonprofit performing arts organization. The venue hosts a wide range of programs such as Itzhak Perlman that entertain, enrich and educate the diverse population of Northern New Jersey . Up coming events include Linda Eder, The Benny Goodman Songbook, Elvis Costello, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Mooseltoe, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Ralphie May, The Irish Tenors and Darlene Love.

Related Links: For more information on ITZHAK PERLMAN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Itzhak Perlman | MayoArts.org

(Originally Published on November 18, 2013)

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