Violinist Sebastian Bohren Gives a Bravura Performance on ‘In Evening Light’

Bohren gives a bow-stroke master class as he navigates swift changes while bringing power to loud passages and rich musicality to melancholy moments

This powerful world-premiere recording of Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks’ compelling Violin Concerto No. 2, “Vakara gaismā,” has its pastoral moments. But the titular reference of In Evening Light does not refer to restful time spent with friends and a fine bottle of wine but rather the twilight rumination of a sometimes-turbulent lifetime filled with far-ranging events and experiences. The three movements flow together seamlessly as the dynamic concerto swoops and swells through emotional peaks and valleys, juxtaposing themes of darkness and light, featuring an ecstatic cadenza bookended by calmer, melancholy outer movements. 


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In-Evening-Light-Sebastian-Bohren-violin-Munchener-Kammerorchester-Sergej-Bolkhovets-cond-Avie
In Evening Light, Sebastian Bohren, violin; Münchener Kammerorchester, Sergej Bolkhovets, cond. (Avie)

Violinist Sebastian Bohren gives a bow-stroke master class as he navigates swift changes from legato to martelé to collé while bringing power to loud passages and rich musicality to melancholy moments. The violin concerto is paired with Franz Schubert’s Rondeau brillante in B minor, Op. 70, D. 895 (Andante II and Allegro, arranged for violin and strings by the American pianist Paul Suits), and Vasks’ beautiful Vientuļais eņģelis (“Lonely Angel”), a transcendent 2006 work dedicated to his then-recently-deceased mother and derived from the fifth movement of his Fourth String Quartet (1999), concluding with a soaring solo violin line. The brilliant 37-year-old violinist Bohrens—the artistic director of Stretta Concerts and the Brugg Festival in Brugg, Switzerland—gives a bravura performance throughout these virtuoso works.