Violinist Jenson's fire, beauty are back

May 23, 1994|By Kenneth Meltzer | Kenneth Meltzer,Special to The Sun

On Sunday afternoon, a small, inner-city church offered a concert that would be the envy of any international concert stage. As part of its Lois J. Wright Memorial Concert Series, St. Katherine's presented Baltimore audiences with a gift in the form of the gleaming artistry of violinist Dylana Jenson.

Ms. Jenson is, in fact, no stranger to the major concert halls of the world. While still a teen-ager, she won the Silver Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and, after a triumphant Carnegie Hall debut, recorded the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. That recording, still available on an BMG/RCA compact disc, ranks among the finest ever. Even at an early age, Ms. Jenson displayed a rare combination of technical mastery and musical insight.

Ms. Jenson withdrew from the concert stage at the height of her career to raise a family with husband and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor David Lockington. Now a resident of Baltimore, Ms. Jenson has decided to resume her international career. Based upon the level of artistry displayed at the recital, fans of superb playing have major cause for rejoicing.

From the first razor-sharp attacks of the opening of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 12, No. 1, it was clear that Ms. Jenson was in full control of her prodigious technique. Intonation was impeccable and the passage work flawless. Ms. Jenson is not afraid to play with force and intensity, but the beauty of tone never suffers.

Still, what is most impressive about Ms. Jenson's technical expertise is that it serves a probing musicality of the highest order. Time and again, the violinist spun phrases of unique beauty.

Ms. Jenson's performances of composer-conductor Jean Martinon's virtuosic Sonatine No. 5 and Brahms' reflective G-major Sonata maintained the high level of accomplishment.

Throughout the concert, the violinist was admirably supported by pianist Brian Ganz. Not only do Beethoven and Brahms make the pianist an almost equal partner with the violinist in the Sonatas, Mr. Ganz offered highly satisfying solo renditions of Chopin's G-minor Ballade and Debussy's "Reflet dans l'eau" and "Poissons d'or" from the French composer's "Images."

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