Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” filled the second half of the recent Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Classic Series concert, but there was nothing enigmatic about violin soloist Elena Urioste’s performance earlier in the program. Her reading of the Sibelius “Violin Concerto” was incredibly virtuosic in the allegro first movement, and sonorously heartfelt in the Adagio, where the soul of the piece lies.
As for the concerto itself, one wants to suggest, “A few fewer cadenzas, Jean,” in the allegro, but the lush lower strings used so profusely throughout the rest of the piece provide such a velvet cushion for the soloist that one forgets the highest possible harmonics at the end of some of the cadenzas reaching so far above the treble clef only one’s Labrador retriever can hear it properly.
Thank God for Edward Elgar. Between the death of Henry Purcell in 1695 and Elgar’s birth two hundred years later, little of note