Channing Gray – 4/17/11

“…the big crowd-pleaser came after intermission, a wonderfully heartfelt performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with David Kim as soloist. If Kim’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he is something of an honorary Rhode Islander who has played here often. For 20 years he ran the Kingston Chamber Music Festival on the URI campus, and has appeared at the Newport Music Festival. But his day job is as concertmaster of the famed Philadelphia Orchestra. The Kim-Rachleff approach to this warhorse of a concerto was to play down the virtuosity, at least in the opening two movements, and play up its grace and elegance. Kim, whose playing was so sweet and soulful, took his time with the opening movement, caressing each phrase. The same was true of the melting slow movement. But there were moments when Kim could show off his chops, such as the dramatic first-movement cadenza, where he nailed the high-pitched harmonics and tossed off double stops. And there was the sizzling finale, taken at a blistering pace. But somehow Kim’s playing was more about musicianship than show.” — Channing Gray, Providence Journal