Violinist appreciates 'simple clarity' - Albuquerque Journal

Violinist appreciates ‘simple clarity’

The Santa Fe Concert Association will present Caroline Goulding at its Christmas Eve concert.
The Santa Fe Concert Association will present Caroline Goulding at its Christmas Eve concert.

Like many violinists, Caroline Goulding considers Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61 to be one of the greatest pieces ever written for the violin.

“As I sit here trying to contemplate and clarify in words the meaning of Beethoven’s violin concerto, one quality that usually comes to my mind first and that I can confidently express about this piece is its simple clarity,” said Goulding via email from Germany. “Its utter lack of adornment inclines me to approach it not only with utmost admiration and appreciation but paradoxically with also a sense of wonder and heedfulness.”

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, along with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, are featured during the Santa Fe Concert Association’s Christmas Eve Concert.

The violin concerto was written and premiered in 1806. It was composed for one of Beethoven’s colleagues, violinist Franz Clement. The premiere was not a success, and the concerto was rarely performed in the following decades. It was revived in 1844 with performances featuring violinist Joseph Joachim, who was 12 years old at the time, that were conducted by composer Felix Mendelssohn. Since 1844 it has been frequently performed and recorded.

“The naturalness of the piece often highlights to me perhaps the more penetrative element of Beethoven’s person,” said Goulding. “In a broad sense, I understand this piece to reflect a more contented and serene facet of himself. His second movement in particular completely captures me. In one word, it glows. The third movement surfaces as a sort of rustic and jovial dance and reminds me of the pleasantries of nature. I believe the true meaning of the piece is a question that can only be answered by the direct experience of it.”

Goulding, who has performed as a soloist with some of North America’s premier orchestras since the age of 13, was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011. In 2009 she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, was the recipient of the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship, was named Musical America’s Artist of the Month in December and received a Grammy nomination for her debut recording on the Telarc label.

Goulding has appeared on NBC’s television show “Today” and PBS’s “From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall” with world-renowned banjo player Bela Fleck. She currently studies with Donald Weilerstein and Christian Tetzlaff at Kronberg Academy in Germany and has the privilege of being able to play the 1720 General Kyd Stradivarius violin.

Santa Fe Concert Association’s artistic director Joseph Illick leads the Santa Fe Concert Association Orchestra in the performance’s two Beethoven works.

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