Adelaide has seen the first in the series of gala recitals by the celebrated Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov and with it he immediately justifies the hype as the finest virtuoso before the public today. There was nothing to fault, for here was a recital which must immediately rank not only amongst the finest witnessed this year, but in all my years of concertgoing.

For over two hours Vengerov and his regular pianist, Roustem Saïtkoulov, delivered a truly masterful recital which continued to gain the audience’s approval and admiration as it progressed from Bach’s equally famed and feared Chaconnefrom the Second Partita to one of the Belgian virtuoso Eugene Ysaÿe’s kaleidoscopic task forces, offering a tough terrain which was equal parts Bachian counterpoint and Spanish modes. It was evident that much time had gone into planning this sumptuous musical feast which presented a programme that most musicians and chamber music fans could merely dream of. And it was all delivered with passionate mastery and infallible technique with Vengerov and Saïtkoulov intent on letting this great music do the communicating.


Vengerov and Saîtkoulov  © Sue Hedley

Vengerov’s solo Bach was inherently musical, concentrating...