Elina Vähälä

Reviews

 

Oregon Music News
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Oregon Symphony
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Chicago Tribune
"The fluent, stylish performance by the gifted Finnish violinist Elina Vahala, in her Chicago debut, revealed a musician whose brilliant technique is matched by abundant spirit, sensitivity and imagination" (Vivaldi: The Four Seasons)

 


The Oregonian
"Vähälä's viscerally affecting approach united musical depth and technical finesse. Britten's solo lines use percussive attacks as much as drawn-out phrases, and hers were piercing.... spellbinding" (Britten Violin Concerto)

 


Oregon Music News
Britten Violin Concerto with the Oregon Symphony
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Musicweb International
Sibelius Violin Concerto at Barbican
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Classicalsource.com
Elina Vähälä's performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Leif Segerstam at Barbican in London
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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)

 


www.IncidentLight.com
"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)
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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)
“...an 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.”

 


Seesener Beobachter
“She understood wonderfully how to X–ray the structure of this concerto. Her playing was about great beauty and at the same time uncommonly simple. [In the finale] she played with great temperament. Marvellous passages and jumps, magical flageolettes and everything in general was mastered by the sympathetic soloist Elina Vähälä.”
(Sibelius:Violin concerto)

 


Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm
“Elina Vähälä's playing was blinding, answering all the demands of the music in power, virtuosity and soft melancholy. A pure and poetic feeling in the violin tone and fiery involvement in the interpretation. Yes, it was absolutely brilliant...”
(Kalevi Aho: violin concerto)

 


LA Times, Los Angeles
“Vähälä was clearly the evening's star and the Schnittke her showpiece. Both violinist and pianist threw themselves into the sonata...Vähälä offering a vividly athletic performance that managed to appear untamed but was, in fact, perfectly in control.”
(Schnittke: Quasi una sonata)

 


Seattle Post Intelligencer
“Vahala, who has performed with the orchestra before, gave a fine performance of the Mozart concerto, with the orchestra closely attuned to her. Gothoni's and Vahala's was an elegant, modern rendering, and clean technique and keen musicianship marked her playing.”
(Mozart: Violin concerto No.5)

 


Charleston Gazette, Charleston WV
“She consistently opted for a measured approach, always thoughtful, always probing. The first movement was nearly transparent in texture yet still painted with gorgeous tonal colors.
The finale had the same clarity, but with ample wattage added to the playing when needed. Indeed Vahala kept adding heat to her playing toward the end drawing some astonishing powerful sounds from her 1678 Stradivarius.”
(Mendelssohn: Violin concerto E minor, 03/2007)

 


Daily Mail, Charleston, WV
“Violinist fiddles like the devil, and the results are heavenly

Finnish violinist Elina Vahala uses her 1678 Stradivarius violin as a musical weapon. Felix Mendelssohn's violin concerto is fiendishly difficult from a technical standpoint and gives a soloist the opportunity to either sink or swim many times throughout the three-movement work.
Vahala's handling of the work proves her Olympic style of swimming in a giant pool of musical sharks -- and never once did she receive a bite. Moreover, the work is intensely musical, as Mendelssohn's music usually is, which allowed the superb orchestral accompaniment to tease Vahala into singing like an angel while fiddling like the devil.”
(Mendelssohn: Violin concerto E minor, 03/2007)

 


Helsingin Sanomat
“Elina Vähälä captures with her playing

Elina Vähälä is like the Stradivari-violin she plays on, graceful in structure, luminous and giving in sound. Vähälä takes up Johannes Brahms' violin concerto with such a grip, that the leader is obvious. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgards is incorrigibly left on the backround, to accompany. Until the adagio starts. The opening of the winds sounds like the most wonderful serenade. The beautiful Elina answers to the invitation and takes us again as marionettes until the last beats of the sparkling finale. Elina Vähälä twists the listener around her little finger, and it doesn't even feel bad to be captured like that.”

 


Ostrobotnian, Vasa, Finland
“Already the powerful first measures of the Brahms D major concerto and the firm, dramatic grip of the soloist made the listener to expect some totally new creative interpretation of the familiar concerto, and one was not let down. Elina Vähälä conjured up of her Stradivari-violin the most beautiful singing line, whispering pianissimos and full-bodied forte, probably the way that would have satisfied Brahms as well. I was expecting with certain interest the interpretation of the third movement, the final. "FIRE AND FLASH"! Elina Vähälä's dramatic and brilliant insight sounded pure, technically flawless without comparison. We got to hear well analyzed and lively Brahms. It felt that the beautiful-toned Stradivari transformed to a part of a musical landscape.”

 


Helsingin Sanomat, Finland
"Elina Vähälä played Corigliano's concerto in Turku in brilliantly glorious manner, in ecstasy of striking mastery, that was regulated by bright, polished control."
(John Corigliano: Violin concerto "The Red Violin”)

 


Turun Sanomat, Finland
"Elina Vähälä's performance as the soloist of the concerto was astonishing and intense. Virtuosic passages bubbled unbelievably easily, and she didn't leave one note without meaning and something to say."
(John Corigliano: Violin concerto "The Red Violin”)

 


Turun Sanomat, Finland
“She came through all the most difficult technical obsticles effortlessly, and the well–balanced playfullness of this virtuoso made all the violinists sitting in the audience sigh of admiration.”
(Kalevi Aho: Violin concerto)

 


Etelä–Suomen Sanomat, Finland
“Her deeply musical interpretation amazed with its naturality, poetry and polished sensuality. The violin sounded extraordinary beautiful, full and colourful.”
(Barber: Violin concerto)