Umsagnir og dómar um tónleika
Reviews on Concerts

Dómar og umsagnir um geisladiska fylgja kynningu á þeim á hljómdiskasíðu
Reviews on CDs: See CD-page

Dóma og umsagnir um nýlega tónleika er að finna á tónleikasíðunni
Reviews on recent concerts: See Recent events

Merkin Concert Hall, 2011
Solo violin concert, January 15th
Einleikstónleikar 15. janúar

Program / Efnisskrá:

J.S. Bach: Sonata II in a minor BWV 1003
J.S. Bach: Partita I in b minor BWV 1002
Merrill Clark: Prelude from Sigurjónsdóttir Sonata 'The Sorceress' (US Premiere)
J.S. Bach: Sonata III in C major BWV 1005

"Hlif Sigurjonsdottir has fantastic tone and interpretive insight, simultaneously vigorous and lacey delicate. Bach is Bach, and the incredibly rare performer – a few in each generation – who play like her seem a heavenly revelation. Bach's canonic writing is glorious.

The Merrill Clark is a modernist riff on Bach – canonic counterpoint with a humorous tone inspired by and written for Ms. Sigurjonsdottir. The Prelude is tasty and feisty.

Sonata III – In 'home' key, this was a fitting conclusion. In the final allegro, just watching the virtuosity of her bow arm was amazing."
Reviewed by Mark Greenfest
Independent New York Reviewer. His reviews frequently appear in the NMC Newsletter.

Merkin Concert Hall, 2010
Solo violin concert, January 11th
Einleikstónleikar 11. janúar

Program / Efnisskrá:

J.S. Bach: Sonata I in g minor BWV 1001
J.S. Bach: Partita II in d minor BWV 1004
Winter Trees by Jónas Tómasson, written for and dedicated to Hlíf
J.S. Bach: Partita III in E major BWV 10065

"On January 11, 2010 I was privileged to become acquainted with Ms. Hlif Sigurjonsdottir and her violin playing at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.

My first and most striking impression is the utmost ease and relaxed openness with which Ms. Sigurjonsdottir addresses her instrument. Her sound is transparent and room filling simultaneously, a very satisfying combination of traits for the listener.

My second impression was a delight in the musicality she brought to her offerings. After almost three hundred years, the Bach Sonatas and Partitas remain the most virtuosic test for the solo violin. Ms. Sigurjonsdottir showed acute awareness of the intricacies of the contrapuntal interplay of the master and, unlike many violinists, did not emphasize the secondary voices in the melodic web which created a depth in the sonic image that I found fascinating, an illusion that the multiple violinists invoked were separated spatially.

Third, I was very impressed with the stamina required in performing four works of such length and physical demands, not merely physically, but also the unflagging mental focus Ms. Sigurjonsdottir revealed. Her intonation was inerrant through out and one always sensed that she was seeing and shaping each phrase before the phrase itself began. Programming three difficult unaccompanied Bach works in a single recital and delivering the goods, from memory no less, can only be termed 'heroic'.

Fourth, here are some highlights that remain in my mind. The D minor Chaconne, a piece to which I have a strong attachment, very successfully conjured a phantom orchestra. It was, thanks to the unforced nature of the playing, a chamber orchestra where each 'player' sensed his or her precise place in overall picture and did nothing to upset the balance of the structure. Likewise, the polyphonic movements and passages of the G minor Sonata and E major Partita seemed, even in the triple and quadruple stops, to be composed of individual voices, a confluence rather than punctuation. The linear dances, notably the Presto from the G minor Sonata and the Prelude from the E major, moved very briskly without sounding hurried and Ms. Sigurjonsdottir demonstrated an awareness of their double melodic line, 'single voice counterpoint' nature. There and elsewhere the use of the violin to create a complete musical landscape was made to seem so normal as to raise the question "why is the unaccompanied violin recital so rare?"

A final note, Jónas Tómasson's work "Winter Trees," left a perception of severe austerity - presumably an accurate portrayal of the Icelandic landscapes it was intended to describe. A stimulating work that certainly deserves repeated hearings.

It was a wonderful concert and after meeting Ms. Sigurjonsdottir post performance, I can report that the vitality and good nature of her violin playing is without a doubt a reflection of her own personality."
Merrill Clark
New York composer

Since graduating with Magna cum Laude from the University of Utah, Merrill Clark has received honors such as "Outstanding Composer" (1972 College Jazz Festival) and "Meet the Composer" grant. Recent major compositions include operas, chamber music, and music for electric instruments. Since 1979 he has been composing, performing and teaching in New York City. He is the author of "Mastering Blues Keyboard"

"Hlíf Sigurjónsdóttir has a magical stage presence and is an elegant performer. Her Baroque pieces have fanciful, delicate decorations and her modern work is as stark and beautiful as the composer could wish. She has a beautiful tone and tremendous technique, musicianship and imagination."
Beth Anderson-Harold
composer, New York

Beth Anderson (M.F.A./M.A.) is a critically acclaimed composer of neo-romantic, avant-garde music, text-sound works, and musical theater. Born in Kentucky, she studied primarily in California at Mills College and U.C. Davis. She resides in New York City where she produces Women's Work, a concert series, for Greenwich House Arts.

"The concert was absolutely magnificent and exceeded all my expectations. Ms. Sigurjons effortlessly played without music several very advanced pieces illustrating her relaxed and easy command of higher violin positions and complicated bowing techniques. I would recommend her concerts to anyone interested in hearing one of the most promising, young violinists of our time.
Gerald M. Goldhaber, Ph.D.
President and CEO