by Mike Telin
“I’m so excited about coming back to Cleveland,” violinist Stefan Jackiw said by phone from his home in New York. “I can’t wait to play the Britten with The Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall. It doesn’t get more luxurious than that.”
On Friday, November 25 at 7:30 pm, Jackiw will perform Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Thomas Søndergård. The concert also includes Stravinsky’s The Firebird (complete ballet). The program will be repeated on Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available online.
I began our conversation by bringing up Jackiw’s last visit to Cleveland, in the summer of 2021 at Blossom, when he played Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
Mike Telin: This time you’re bringing the Britten, which is quite different from the Prokofiev.
Stefan Jackiw: Oddly there are some similarities. They are both Spanish-influenced. Prokofiev partially wrote the 2nd while he was living in Spain. And Britten was a pacifist and had strong feelings about the violence that happened during the Spanish Civil War and the looming WWII.
MT: And Britten wrote the concerto in 1938 and 1939.
SJ: He did, and it’s a piece that is reflective of its time. It’s at times mournful and almost violently virtuosic. Sometimes hopeful, but guardedly so and sometimes whaling. And you hear its Spanish influences both in some of the rhythmic elements — there’s a moment that always reminds me of castanets — and there’s a seductive Spanish-tinged second theme in the Scherzo [Read more…]