VoxCarnyx: “Wildschut is perfectly suited to lyrical Romantic repertoire”

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Noa Wildschut and Fabien Gabel

On 27 May 2022 Noa performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Fabien Gabel, at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, UK.

Excerpt from VoxCarnyx (28/5/2022):

There were some younger children in the hall, but the empty seats in prominent positions spoke of a few cancelled family outings after soloist Nicola Benedetti sent her apologies for this week’s RSNO concerts.

By some measures, this is less explicable than it may appear. The orchestra management had swiftly secured the services of charismatic Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut, much nearer in age to school fiddle students as a role model, and she was playing the Mendelssohn concerto, a more accessible work than Mark Simpson’s very fine, but demanding, new composition.

Wildschut, who gave a much admired fresh reading of Bruch on her debut with the orchestra two years ago, is perfectly suited to lyrical Romantic repertoire, with a light, precise style that always found a fine balance with the orchestra without ever seeming over-assertive. That there is muscle in her playing was confirmed by her Bach encore, but firstly in a bold first movement cadenza. Gabel and she found a very collaborative reading of the slow movement, and a particularly moving way with the exchanges between soloist and the wind section in the finale.

Keith Bruce

Click here to read the full review.

Excerpt from Bachtrack (29/5/2022):

A nightmare for the organisers, a change of programme at short notice initially disappoints, but immediately whets the appetite for a surprise. Sadly, Nicola Benedetti had to withdraw from the programme, so the Scottish premiere of Mark Simpson’s Violin Concerto will have to wait. Happily, at very short notice, young Dutch rising star Noa Wildschut was able to take time out of her busy schedule to join the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.

Wildschut gave a remarkable performance with the RSNO in February 2020 and she received a warm welcome back from the audience in the Usher Hall. Only 21, she brought new perspectives to Mendelssohn’s much-loved concerto, a work the orchestra, soloist and conductor know inside-out but played here with the extra frisson of the raw unpredictability of last-minute musical chemistry. Wildschut took a contemplative, restrained and refreshingly unshowy approach, pulling the audience right into the heart of the music, unafraid of the lingering pin-drop silences she created in her striking first movement cadenza. A wandering bassoon taking us into the slow movement, Wildschut’s golden warm tone and dreamy emotional depth shone through with clarity before bringing fizz to the rigours of the final Allegro. Gabel, always lithe and dynamic in response to the soloist, allowed his players to sparkle. Wildschut’s encore of the Sarabande from Bach Partita no. 1 had the audience in the palm of her hand.

David Smythe


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Photo credit: RSNO