Charlotte Sun: Spellbound audience

Spellbound audience

The iconic strains of Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” — with crescendo building in sound and tempo to a stunning climax — set the stage for audience applause and shouts of approval for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on Sunday evening.

But it was internationally acclaimed German violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, with a stirring, virtuoso performance of Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski’s “Concerto, Violin, No 2,” who just about stole the show at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda.

While celebrated throughout Europe, it was one of the young violinist’s rare performances in the United States, and her first in Florida, invited here by CSO maestro Raffaele Ponti.

She captivated the audience, playing the three movements of Wieniawski’s concerto with a combination of verve, clarity, style and a bit of showmanship.

Spellbound audience

At times, the sold-out audience appeared to be spellbound by her command of the instrument, her mastery of the music and the style of her performance.

Kritik Charlotte Sun

As she concluded the third movement — energetic allegro con fuoco alla zingara — with a flair, the audience rose as one with long, sustained shouts and applause. ...

After the concert, Hopcker praised not only the orchestra, but the city of Punta Gorda as well.

Beaming, she said, “Punta Gorda is an amazing place — its weather, its sunsets, its beautiful harbor, its wonderful people. On a walk along the harbor after breakfast,” she said, “I saw a dolphin for the first time in my life, right there in front of me!” ...

As for the CSO, she said, “They mix together. They melt with each other well. In my first rehearsal, I was impressed with the cello section. You have a great conductor, and you are interested in students. That’s so very important.

Spellbound audience

“You should be very proud of your orchestra.”

By Bill Jones
Charlotte Sun Correspondent
March, 5, 2018