Alexander Markov press reviews
"The most exciting violin recital this listener has heard in quite some time. Mr. Markov's playing is marked by a Romantic effusion that comes so naturally it never seems vulgar or affected. He seems to have stepped directly out the past: although he is a young man - he plays like an old 78 recording come to life, without the pop and sizzle of shellac. Mr. Markov scoops and slides with an emotional intensity that has all but vanished from contemporary violin playing. Somewhere Mischa Elman is smiling."
The New York Times
The New York Times
New York, Sunday, May 10, 1998
By David Mermelstein
conducted by Lawrence Renes.
Erato 0630-17878-2; CD.
Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos Nos. 2, 4, 5
Alexander Markov, violinist; Monte Carlo
Though less well remembered than such iconic figures as Paganini and Sarasate, Henri Vieuxtemps was among the most famous virtuoso fiddlers of the 19th century. And like his more illustrious colleagues, he was also a gifted composer; best known naturally, for fiendishly difficult concertos.
In this century, Heifetz was Vieuxtemps' most celebrated exponent, but artists as varied as Vasa Prihoda and Sarah Chang have recorded his concertos. Now comes Alexander Markov, a Russian-born American, with volatile accounts of the Second, Fourth and Fifth Concertos.
Heifetz never recorded the Second, but he remains unsurpassed in the Fourth and Fifth. Yet Mr. Markov makes his mark. He plays these scores with a conviction even Heifetz might admire, and his technique and tone are beyond reproach.
In the Adagio religioso from the Fourth Concerto, for instance, Mr. Markov sustains a lovely shimmer, and his lithe bowing is shown to great effect in the folk-inflected Rondo from the Second Concerto. He tackles the Fifth's thorny Allegro non troppo with admirable cool.
In all three works, he is ably backed by Lawrence Renes and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, who allow him the limelight while animatedly supporting his efforts.
"An evening of prodigious violin-playing by one of the most interesting musicians now before the public ... He combines the fleet, fluent and centered playing we now demand of our young virtuosos with a full-fledged musical personality in the grand manner. Few artists would dare such a program: a solo violinist, unadorned, playing tremendously challenging but not naturally engrossing material for nearly two hours, is not a likely draw. Yet Markov all but filled the house. Moreover, his playing grew fresher and more spontaneous as the evening wore on, and he held the attention of his audience throughout ... What made the evening more memorable, however, was Markov's ability to transform the Caprices into genuinely exciting and unpredictable music. Not that he exactly played down Paganini's technical demands - Markov glories in his command - but he approached each work as more than a showpiece."
New York Newsday
"Those who insist that today's young musicians can't play like old-time virtuosos haven't witnessed a performance by Alexander Markov. The youthful violinist brought the house down when he joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D Minor. Mr. Markov had an extraordinary empathy for the score. He didn't just strum his violin. He made love to it, at times coaxing out sweet, tender melodies and at other times playing with fiery passion. Whereas many violinists are content to get by with mere showmanship, Mr. Markov made certain his listeners were pulled into the movement's strong emotional undercurrent."
The Sun, Baltimore
The Philadelphia Enquirer
Saturday, January 16, 1999
Finding dark color in the details of Sibelius
By Daniel Webster
Inquirer Music Critic
"Violinist Alexander Markov joined the Sibelius observance, playing in concerto with a sure hand. It was his debut with the orchestra, and the Moscow-born violinist filled the performance with ample proof of his clear articulation and expressive sound.
Markov's playing is full of admirable strengths, and after the audience had applauded the Sibelius, he returned to play Paganini's Caprice No. 24. In that unaccompanied showpiece, he displayed the anticipated vast technical gifts. He built the piece through the increasingly taxing variations, drawing audible enthusiasm from listeners with the variation marching left hand pizzicato and terse bowed notes. It was a flash of color in this program of Nordic solemnity."
The Philadelphia Orchestra
James DePriest, conducting: Alexander Markov, violin soloist.
Performed Thursday at the Academy of Music.
"A bravura violinist in the best tradition." Baltimore Evening Sun
"Possesses enormous talent." Los Angeles Times
"An undoubted virtuosos of master quality. The audience was not only ready to acclaim him, it was prepared to idolize." The Toronto Star
"He has the technical equipment and the innate musicianship to reach the very first rank." High Fidelity/Musical America
"Clearly on his way to becoming one of the most important violinists of the age." Daily News, New York
"A magnificent film of the 24 Paganini Caprices by Bruno Monsaingeon is testimony." LORD YEHUDI MENUHIN
"A young man of great potential he will certainly go far in his high aspirations" LORD YEHUDI MENUHIN