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Vadim Repin – The subtlety of fluid touches

The relationship that musicians have with their instruments is always special. Some artists, once they have discovered the instrument that they feel closest to their personality, do not wish to change it ever again, but others happen to be inspired by several instruments. Such is the case of the renowned violinist Vadim Repin, who has been seduced by nine violins so far, since 1982.

Text by Mădălina Mărgăritescu

The instrument that Vadim Repin has been in harmony with since 2016 is the “Rode” violin by Stradivari (1733). Vadim Repin has told in many interviews about the propensity he has had for sound-producing toys since the age of three, and that he started studying the violin at the age of five. After seven months of work, at a competition organised by the Music School, he performed in front of the violinist that would later become one of his most important mentors, Zakhar Bron.

On September 5, Vadim Repin will perform on the stage of the Palace Hall as part of the Enescu Festival 2017, along with the Russian National Orchestra.

Thanks to Bron, around the age of nine or ten, he listens to a Brahms concerto performed by Jascha Heifetz, which gives the virtuoso an “intense pleasure” and brings him closer to the compositions of Brahms. The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 and the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 102, the works of his favourite composer, Brahms, are included on the album that Vadim Repin recorded with the cellist Truls Mork and the conductor Riccardo Chailly on a CD that was released in 2008.

Brahms’ Concerto was the first composition that Repin learned on his own after finishing his studies with Bron and his performance was heard by Yehudi Menuhin, who also gave him some advice. The disciple of George Enescu was part of the “constellation of personalities” that dominated Vadim Repin’s musical life.

Menuhin used to say that Vadim Repin is“simply the best and most perfect violinist that I have ever had the chance to hear”.

Repin builds dynamic music with a clear, suave sound.

The mastery that Vadim Repin shows when forging the sound that he feels “close to the emotion of a woman” is like the elegance of fluid touches that have created the feminine figures painted by Giovanni Boldini. The sound of Repin’s violin has the same intense motion that we can find, for instance, in Boldini’s “Portrait of Miss Lantelme”. Just as the feminine figures in the paintings of Boldini endure in the memory of the viewer, Repin creates a sound that prolongs its ripple endlessly.

The way the violinist gracefully crafts his sound is complemented by the poetry in the movements of his wife, the ballerina Svetlana Zakarova, in the shows that the two artists give together.

Aside from the many concerts he gives all over the world, since 2014 Vadim Repin has been the artistic director of the Trans-Siberian Art Festival, organised in Novosibirsk (Siberia), the violinist’s home town.

Translation provided by Irina-Marina Borţoi, Biroul de Traduceri Champollion