You cannot fault Alena Baeva in her formidable interpretation of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2: dazzling technique, and appropriate colours for the composer, whose sound world demands a certain roughness in some passages and cadences.
There are soloists who distance themselves from this somber work, but Alena Baeva's attitude towards Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2 was so vital, dedicated, and warm that it maintained all its purity and all its expressiveness.
The opportunity to listen to a work such as Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.2 is always an important occasion and, from the first moment, it was clear that Alena Baeva was without question the correct choice of soloist. She has a powerful sound and a suitably dark tonality, and demonstrated a warm phrasing that gave superb results as a whole.
Special mention should be made of the great violinist Alena Baeva, who was faced with a work in which technical mastery must be combined with character and sensitivity. Baeva brought dazzling sparks to this individual work, imbuing every note with clarity and individual meaning.
The concert featured top-class violin playing by Alena Baeva, who performed skilfully and atmospherically as the soloist of Bartók's First Violin Concerto.
In the hands of an artist like Baeva, apparently anything sounds interesting. Her playing is mesmerizing…
Baeva charms – sensual and lyrical…. Her technique and tone polish every note and send it out to the audience like a lustrous gem. She possesses awe-inspiring technique, and a tone that is soaring and entrancing.
Thoroughly captivating … a showcase of commanding technique, brilliant clarity, and jam-packed with heart and soul.
The sheer musical brilliance of Alena Baeva’s collaboration with the Orchestra of the 18th Century makes their performance essential listening.
BBC Music Magazine
Utterly ravishing and full of melody, Alena Baeva, the young Russian violinist, immediately impressed with her tone. I can see why Järvi (among others) is a keen champion of her skills and musicianship – we shall certainly see and hear a lot more of this excellent young artist. Baeva had made her mark with great aplomb.
Seen and Heard International
Baeva brings sweetness of tone, flowing hauntingly before taking off with exciting virtuosity.
BBC Music Magazine
Alena Baeva is a violinist of proven musicality and impeccable intonation…. In the cadenza [of the Britten Violin Concerto], she created one of the most attractive moments in concert history. In a work full of connections, Baeva gave an entire articulatory lesson: you could not help but get carried away…
Exuberant – Alena Baeva’s interpretation is impassioned and passionate, inexorably leading to a standing ovation from the audience of the RAI Auditorium. She reveals her personal imprint through an ever brilliant and light sound, accompanied by an enviable variety in vibrato and impeccable technical mastery.
The musical empathy between Baeva & Jurowski was evident, not just in tempos and moment-to-moment detail, but in the very character of the piece. There were muscularity and thrilling virtuosity aplenty, but there was also gentle, intimate playing, drawing the audience into passages with the emotional complexity of chamber music. […] In the second movement, Baeva became a delicate, distant voice, poetic and captivating. In the Finale she let rip – swaggering, heroic, and full of personality.
Fine technique and imaginative phrasing…. In the Canzonetta, her beautiful violin tone and her lovely shaping of Tchaikovsky’s song-like melodies marked her out as an outstanding player, and her account of the Finale was not only strikingly virtuosic but had a compelling quality of joyous abandon.
Seen and Heard International
Everything about the performance seemed to get under the skin of this very familiar work, giving [the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto] more than a new lease of life. The first movement had poise and excitement in equal measure, with Alena Baeva demonstrating an exceptional evenness of tone across all the registers and an evident responsiveness to Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The brief slow movement was given the most sensitive account, hushed and romantic in the most tasteful manner. The finale was everything you’d want it to be, thrillingly fast and technically sure footed, as well as having a true heart in the gentler passages. So, this was an undoubtedly a top-notch performance, making this masterpiece sound even more like one of the composer’s greatest works.
Soloist Alena Baeva had a glowing tone, with which she held sensual command… she formed the sovereign centre of the enchanted world of Szymanowski.
Baeva was a magnetic presence, and the sound of her instrument, the fullness of tone, and her marvelously precise intonation were admirable and beautiful in and of themselves. Her strength and fire made the [Bacewicz] concerto sound like a masterpiece.
New York Classical Review
Lincoln Center debut
Baeva & Kholodenko constitute a communicative and brilliant duo, always putting virtuosity at the service of the musical work…
Baeva can sing with the violin – a constantly fascinating sound technician, with the highest rhythmic versatility.
The same calibre as Janine Jansen – gripping musicality, warm, sensual, flawless, and accurate.
Star soloist Alena Baeva, whose dark beautiful tone and intense sound colours cause the violin to sing and to soar.
Besides her striking stage presence, Baeva makes more sense of this thorny score than anyone else I can recall… approachable emotionally despite the starkness typical of late Shostakovich.
Review of Mariinsky/Gergiev DVD
Baeva’s interpretation [of the Beethoven Concerto] gave it a new, enchanting glow.
Alena Baeva, was an expressive, sparkling counterpoint…very fine interplay, with close and responsive cooperation. I have never heard this violin concerto played with such fine nuances.
Baeva is an excellent violinist and wholeheartedly embraces the complexities of Shostakovich and plays the 2nd Violin Concerto with ease and authority.