Recital in Ingolstadt

Love alliance for Beethoven

Ingolstadt - Concertizing couples probably have an easier life. They know each other more accurately than other musicians, they correspond more straightforward and one partner always knows what the other one musically is about to do. Marriage as a legal institution of perfect artistic cooperation? Very possible.

Anyway, at the concert of the duo Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and her husband Fabio Bidini for the Konzertverein Ingolstadt one could not experience a tragic marriage drama, but a kind of a love confederation. While violinist Höpcker was standing resplendently in the front part of the big halls' stage, dazzling and brilliant, her husband threw her loving glances from the side, always ready to follow her into a musically very logical rhythmical freedom. During applauses, he granted her the first bow in a nobel way. A sign of inner sovereignty of a fantastic pianist. […]

Also in the concert he was anything but a pussyfoot.. For Ludwig van Beethovens "Spring Sonata" the grand piano was wide open, as if the duo wanted to take literal the title of the composer: "Piano Sonata with indispensable Violin". And indeed: Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker does not only surprise with a powerful reading of the voluptuous cantilenas of the first movement, but she can take herself also completely back, almost only implying accompaniment figures, to make room for the appearance of her husband.

There were two artists reaching out for one another and shaking hands musically, one beginning a musical phrase and then the other one taking over the lead of the phrase so convincingly, that one could not stop being amazed. Höpcker in fact [...] has an enormously potential tone.

And yet she can also set a completely different mood. In the second movement of Beethoven's Sonata, she barely exhaled the notes, creating a foggy sound poetry.

With all the inclination towards a characterful music-making, the duo remained always in the sphere of bel canto. Unpleasant extreme sforzati or a destructive sound were never to be heard, in any case it would have been alien to this spring-like music of Beethoven. However the two musicians placed emphasis on the "Melos" this evening. That was the case not only with the "Spring Sonata" but also with the optimistic F-major Sonata of Mendelssohn at the end of the concert and the virtuoso pieces in the middle of the program.

The transition from the classical period to the late romanticism was succeeded perfectly . Höpcker once again showed an entirely different approach and sound: rich in vibrato, melting. With Pablo de Sarasates "Romanza Andaluza" and almost even more with his "Gypsy Airs" everything depends on the performers art of differentiating the abundance of nuances. Höpcker brought the strings to glow by exactly these tiny perfect alterations in timing and the small portamenti between the notes, which are so crucial for this music. Then dazzling the audience in the final part of the "Gypsy Airs" with cool, "technical" brilliance and nimble fingers.

Henri Wieniawski's "Legend" op.17 Höpcker played with luminous double stops conveying almost orchestral weight, and in his "Polonaise de Concert" op. 4 she proved intoxicating folklike panache.

More stormy-optimistically and blessed with melodies as with the only 1953 rediscovered Mendelssohn F-major Sonata one can hardly end a concert. It speaks for Höpcker and Bidini however that they did not fully indulge in this too exuberant mood. Of all the movements especially their rendition of the very intimate and wistful slow movement was a highlight.

An evening full of exhilarating music with two captivating performers - no wonder that three encores were demanded by the enthusiastically applauding audience. Especially impressive was the imposingly high-polished version of Mendelssohn's "On the wings of song".

This title could have been the motto of the whole evening.

Source: Donaukurier Ingolstadt
Date: March 7th, 2016
Text: Jesko Schulze-Reimpell - shortened


Review: Sabrina Vivian Höpcker and Fabio Bidini in accordance

[... Dazzling: Sabrina Vivian Höpcker (violin) in an outstanding musical dialogue with her husband, Fabio Bidini (piano).

Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker in Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt the outstanding violin soloist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and her husband, the renowned pianist Fabio Bidini, are by no means unknown in Ingolstadt. They already convinced when invited by the Konzertverein in the past. The well-attended duo recital in the Great Theatre Hall made clear how brilliantly these two artists work together.

Immediately in Beethoven's famous "Spring Sonata", op. 24, the single movements come across tremendously alive, highly expressive, dynamically insightful and very creatively shaped. Powerful, differentiated, at times almost somewhat introverted, Sabrina Vivian Höpcker shows her enormous and versatile potential. Her partner, Fabio Bidini does not build his cooperation on individual highhandedness, but fluorishes entirely in the service of a so amazingly subtly produced tension between violin and piano, which ultimately undergoes an inner intensification that seems probably unusual at first. Rich in contrast, served slenderly, almost casually engrossed the Adagio comes along.

With the musical bow spun from the classical period to the late Romanticism, between Beethoven, Wieniawski (born in Lublin) Sarasate and Mendelssohn the audience felt again and again, in what an intense and colorful way the virtuoso presentation becomes the center of attention and how much power, drama and an extremely sensitive approach to the pieces are maintaining the balance between each other.

Especially with the Sarasate pieces, which are inspired by the Spanish folklore, an enormously creative energy emerged. The entire performance came across in a playful way, technically exceptionally precise, almost casual. These two exceptional musicians do not exhaust the extremes with their striking and effective interpretation, but serve a highly challenging music, in a rather unspectacular looking way in terms of the inherent virtuoso challenges of the pieces in itself, which as a result enables the listeners to internalize the message of the music even more intuitive. ...]

Source: Augsburger Allgemeine
Text: Johannes Seifert - shortened
Date: March 7th, 2016
Photo: Johannes Seifert