The San Diego Union-Tribune: Meyers triumphs in Schoenberg concerto

San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcus Overton

Anne Akiko Meyers

Commissioned by and written in honor of San Diego native Anne Akiko Meyers, this meditation on age and memory (its title is “Orchard in Fog”) stands a good chance of entering the standard repertory, for it combines evocative tone painting with complex technical demands (like playing on the violin’s highest strings, where faulty intonation is ruthlessly exposed). Its two outer movements, wistful, silvery-gray like a Whistler painting, frame a devilishly syncopated dance movement that almost seems improvised.

Meyers’ playing is what it always has been: a national treasure. Her unshowy approach to her work has saved her from becoming a celebrity, and she has left a trail of unsurpassed achievement behind her in recordings, chamber music and orchestra solo appearances around the globe, as well as authorial collaborations and, best of all, active championing of living composers.

Above all, she is a musical wizard, with astonishing access to every kind of expressive color. Whether within a phrase or on just a single note, she can change tone color in a micro-second from smooth grain to rough, from dark to radiant, from thoughtful to assertive. And she can, like magic, bring new work to vibrant life.

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