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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CHAD HOOPES "Mendelssohn & Adams: Violin Concertos" (Naïve Classique)

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 5:00 am

CHAD HOOPES Mendelssohn & Adams: Violin Concertos (Naïve Classique) Just 19 years old, Chad Hoopes is rising rapidly through the ranks of emerging violinists, having recently signed a three-CD deal with the Naïve label and, earlier this month, been welcomed into CMS Two, the prestigious journeyman program of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He visited Santa Fe in 2012 and again in 2013 as a guest of Santa Fe Pro Musica, and in the first of those appearances he played Mendelssohn’s E-Minor Violin Concerto. That evergreen masterwork receives a spot-on performance on his debut CD for Naïve. It’s easy for soloists to go on automatic pilot in this elegantly crafted concerto, but Hoopes keeps listeners on the edge of their seats, infusing the piece with an urgency that is matched point-for-point by the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted decisively by Kristjan Järvi. Not less impressive is their rendition of John Adams’ Violin Concerto. Composed in 1993, this sizzling work has by now become borderline familiar — this is, I believe, its fourth recording — and each exposure confirms its intense joyfulness. It’s a deeply American piece, born from the loins of Copland, Barber, and (in its rhythmic complexity) Nancarrow. This concerto is all about adrenaline, which Hoopes seems to have in abundant supply. But it is also generous in its lyricism, as he demonstrates with hovering weightlessness in the slow movement.

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