Reviews

Trio's Ravel Is Shimmers And Mists

Dec. 7, 1989

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Leonardo Trio is playing a three-concert series at the Miller Theater in which the centerpiece of each program is an installment of Wolfgang Rihm's "Fremde Szene" cycle. Mr. Rihm, one of the more interesting composers working in Germany today, is eclectic, and in "Fremde Szene II," the trio's offering on Tuesday, he weaves shards of Romanticism into a texture that is by turn eerie, vehement, harsh and lyrical.

Those diverse qualities may seem a lot to pack into a single-movement, 20-minute work, but Mr. Rihm writes in a fluid style that makes the progression seem natural. At the same time, he moves back and forth between true interplay and apparent chaos. Often the violin and cello pursue a theme in tandem while the piano explores the music of an entirely different character, yet a moment later the three lines are closely intertwined.

The Leonardo players -- Cameron Grant, pianist; Erica Kiesewetter, violinist; Jonathan Spitz, cellist -- approached the work's internal dramas and contradictions unflinchingly, and their colorful, energetic reading did the piece full justice.

They surrounded the Rihm with two oldies, Beethoven's Trio in D (Op. 70, No. 2) and Schumann's Trio in D minor (Op. 63), each of which benefited from the trio's opulent tone and shapely phrasing.

Early Verdi, and Sparks Are Already Flying

April.9 2013

Noah Baetge, a penetrating tenor, was admirable as Arvino. Kevin Short, a hardy bass-baritone, was an earnest but inconsistent Pagano. Brandon Cedel, a bass-baritone, and Courtney Johnson, a soprano, stood out in supporting roles. The singers of the New York Choral Society made strong contributions, occasionally buried by the orchestra. And Erica Kiesewetter, the concertmaster, gave a lively, lovely account of the miniature violin concerto in the third act.

Exquisite. Tchaikovsky
“Mozartiana” , Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

March. 2000

It was concertmaster Erica Kiesewetter’s stunning violin solo that proved the highlight.Kiesewetter awed the listeners with her virtuosity on the difficult double-stops. And she poured an unbelievable amount of feeling into the tender passages.

John Williams “Shindler’s List” Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

Oct. 2009

Erica Kiesewetter obnce again took her superlative talents to another level as her violin spoke to the audience

R. Struass “Don Juan” Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

Sept. 2009

None shone brighter than Erica Kiesewetter’s solo.

Vaughan -Williams Fantastia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic

Nov. 2004

Concertmaster Erica Kiesewetter was nothing short of superb, soloing magnificently. Her
engaging expressivity never ceases to amaze the audience.

Rimsky-Korsakov “Scheherezade” Long Island Philharmonic

Nov. 2002

Remarkably affecting was the violin solo, executed by conceftmaster Erica Kiesewetter which displayed an uncommonly sweet tone and a refreshingly honest romantic spirit:

American Symphony Orchestra New York Concert

Nov. 2011

The concertmaster’s solos were effortlessly brilliant. Her understated style of leadership also deserves recognition. She gives an excellent assertive example for her section to follow while always respecting the character of the music.

Brahms Symphony No.1 - American Symphony Orchestra

Nov. 2011

Concertmaster Erica Kiesewetter deserves special prais, not just for her striking perforamnce “singing” the tenor line on Bach’s Cantata BWV 162, but for her fluid singing line in the Andante Sostenuto. Her exquisite portamento lead-in to her final extended solo note that end the movement was simply spine-chilling.

Surinach Flamenco Cyclothymia Perspectives Ensemble

April. 2008

Powerfully virtuosic

Stamford Symphony Orchestra

Nov. 2010

Concertmaster Erica Kiesewetter rocks. She played the sky high solo violin writing with
crystalline precision and perfect intonation.

Bard Music Festival

Aug. 2008

Erica Kiesewetter gave a glowing account of Khachaturian’s song-poem “In Honor of an
Ashugh”(1929)

But Soft! Less Woe for Juliet and Her Romeo

Nov. 18 2007

The members of the American Symphony Orchestra who were in the south hall of Riverside Church on a recent crisp autumn afternoon had gathered not only for a rehearsal but also for a premiere of sorts. The score — the original version of “Romeo and Juliet” that Sergei Prokofiev wrote in 1935, just as Stalin’s Great Purge was gaining momentum — had never before been performed.

“It’s a great thrill,” Erica Kiesewetter, the concertmaster of the American Symphony and a member of the American Ballet Theater orchestra, said during a break. The heady buzz of revealing an unknown masterwork has infected everyone, she said.

Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” is already one of the most beloved pieces in the classical repertory. But many will be surprised to learn that the standard score is actually a bowdlerized version, stitched together under wrenching duress. When it was finally performed by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad in 1940, parts of Prokofiev’s original had been moved around, 20 minutes of music had been eliminated, the orchestration had been thickened, and at the end the young lovers lay still as death — and remained that way.

“My expectation is it will be a shock for some who are aficionados,” Mr. Botstein said. What is remarkable about “Romeo and Juliet,” he added, is how great the score is despite having gone through the censors. It is like asking, “How can you do better version of ‘Hamlet’?” he said.

Nov. 18 2007

During the beloved standard "Over the Rainbow," the orchestra's concertmaster, Erica Kiesewetter, played a prominent violin solo. Not live, of course; she was just pretending. This is not the kind of turn you can imagine your career path taking when you are a young, idealistic violin student.

© 2020 by Erica Kiesewetter.