In Newport, a fresh look at ‘Knoxville’

Author: Richard Buell

That was the food-for-thought part of the evening, a virtual recital within a recital. Surrounding it was a quite startling appearance by the young (b. 1970) Albanian-French violinist Tedi Papavrami, most of whose program, however, was a reminder that, repertory-wise, at Newport it always seems to be turning into dessert time and here comes that trolley again.

Suffice it to say that not for a nanosecond did Papavrami come close to being technically embarrassed. Fingering and howing were phenomenal, the tone not only sweet and unforced but full of meaning, it sang, it was human. And goodness, he believes – fervently – in the Cesar Frank Violin Sonata. This was the kind of performance itís been needing for ages. It was also the only real stuff on the program. When a Gypsy makes his violin cry some people would rather be somewhere else. Your reviewer was among them. But we will be hearing more from Tedi Papavrami, no doubt of that.

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