Smoldering rhythms and blistering tones dominated the performance by Lara St. John on the violin and Matt Hershkowitz at the piano on Sunday evening in the Carlsen Center’s Polsky Theatre. Click here for full article
The 120th (how’s that for longevity) Season of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto opened in grand style on October 5, with a recital given by two virtuosi extraordinaire, violinist Lara St. John and pianist Matt Herskowitz. Click here for full article
In Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending she managed - with remarkable effect to duplicate the sound of a lark's calls. Click here for full article
"I have found each and every selection and performance to contain intricate detailing of not only Schubert’s personality, but the musicians also successfully imbed their own unique voices to naturally meld themselves into Schubert’s world. The smile on my face broadens with each listening until it hurts and I must stop the music in order to recover my senses!"
"As I have said before, Ancalagon continues to demonstrate first rate production values present in high class and informative booklets with texts and translations, and superior as-good- as-you-can-get SACD surround sound. This recital, redolent of the type of soiree that Schubert engaged in so often, will provide a boatload of pleasure. Five out of five stars."
"...absolutely fascinating and engrossing. St. John's relaxed and friendly presentation is perfect, and her commentary always apposite and perceptive. It's absolutely indispensable stuff for student violinists, and offers fascinating and revelatory insight for anyone interested in how concert performances are built."
"Violinist Lara St. John has become a special brand of raconteur in the classical music business. Her early Bach recordings are quite exceptional, but St. John has cleared a path with some well-conceived projects like her recent Bach Sonatas with harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet and coupling of Vivaldi and Piazzolla over The Four Seasons. Entitled simply Schubert, St. John programs a recital of Schubert pieces from early and late in the young composer's life, using the unique format of violin, cello (Ludwig Quandt), harp (Langlamet) and soprano voice (Anna Prohaska). The vocal selections are songs based on Goethe. St. John's daring pays off in a highly listenable recording that has much to teach us about performance and interpretation."
Five-star Review: "St. John magnifies this approach, building a monument to the folk center of Babylon".."The music here is densely conceived and performed. There are layers of pathos and ethos to be discovered. St. John's tone and double-and triple-stops are pan- virtuosic while Herskowitz' muscular approach is well suited to the peasant origins of these pieces. Music like this is beyond imagination and talent. It exists only in the loosely-held molecules found on the razor's edge of Creation."
"Truth is, St. John can play anything, from the most classical of classical music pieces, to things that are waaaaay out in left field, and she does it all without a hint of pretentiousness or stuffiness. In fact, she knocks the stuffing and the stuffiness out of music in the best possible way.....a great new CD"