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Elina Vahala

  • Violinist


Elina Vähälä press reviews

The Washington Post
"Music from France often gets labeled as vaporous, perfumed abstraction. But as violinist Elina Vähälä played Fauré and Debussy at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday evening, the prevailing image wasn't mist -- it was fire.

Throughout the program, Vähälä displayed a fondness and talent for hard, fast passages and was impressive not just for her technical proficiency but also for her ability to make them musically and emotionally potent. in Debussy's Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Minor, she teased out playful, mischievous and sensual lines, and in Fauré's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A, she was all ardent, jealous romance.

The concert closed with Stravinsky's "Suite Italienne", quick crowd-pleasing dances from his neoclassical ballet "Pulcinella", which earned both performers their standing ovation."
(with Mika Rännäli, piano, 04/08)
"Vähälä invested great care in details of color, inflection and dynamics, giving each note and phrase a weight and shape specific to its place in the whole. That specificity was especially effective in the Debussy, but also in the Stravinsky, whose neoclassicism is often rendered more generically. Vähälä's impeccable aim gave Copland's triadic melodic intervals a chiseled character."
(Tuesday Musical Club of San Antonio 03/08)

Musicweb International

Elina Vähälä's performance with the Oregon Symphony (12/07)
read the review

The New York Times
“Her control of phrasing, and especially the ends of phrases provided evidence of a thoughtful musician who has all the technical accomplishment and confidence she needs to project her thoughts. Her intonation is sure and her tone fine, perfectly formed.

In her highly musical performance of the Brahms’s D minor sonata her delicacy of sound and the rythm in the third movement was marvelous, as was the drive in the finale. She breathed each movement, and even the whole sonata, as one.”

Le Droit, Ottawa
“This concert was of exeptional quality. Elina Vähälä’s playing is expressive, sensitive and tempestuous...intense and smooth sound, impeccable intonation, a lively bow arm, all with an easy mastery, a clarity of sonority when each note bursts with life and each phrase leads to the next.

Fiery temperament, brilliant and pure playing - in a recital like this one feels that there is a guaranteed future for music.”

Ottawa Citizen
“There was a high level of energy, a careful but passionate attention to detail and a high sense of music’s technical and emotional structure.

In Schubert’s Duo for violin and piano one was constantly struck with the suppleness and sheer beauty of the violin sound.”

Westdeutche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ)
“ utterly brilliant interpretation of the work.”

( A. Schnittke: Concerto grosso nr.1, soloists Elina Vähälä and Katrin Scholtz, violins)

Le Monde
“Impeccable accuracy, a sound that sang, radient and luminous; this young woman shows herself to be a soloist of the highest rank whose ease and presence place her among the rising glories of the violin.”

(Mendelssohn: Double concerto for violin and piano )

The Seattle Times
“Vähälä, a Grace Kelly look-alike who cut an exceedingly glamorous figure on the stage, took over as soloist for two Beethoven Romances for Violin and Orchestra. She is a patrician, confident player with a big, smooth tone that poured out the long-lined melodies with true beauty.”

The Seattle Post
“Vähälä has almost a viola depth and richness to her violin sound. Her Beethoven was sensitive, musical and appropriately classical in style.”