Reviews for Stephen Bryant

(These online reviews are taken from the last three years and are in no particular order)

From the Strad Magazine

‘…Stephen Bryant was a splendid soloist with a beautifully integrated tone,impeccable intonation and sovereign technique…’

‘…while leader Stephen Bryant’s flawless violin solo in the second movement was outstandingly clear…’

‘…with Stephen Bryant as the eloquent soloist…’

‘…The soloist Stephen Bryant gave a sensitive yet powerful performance of this work with his virtuosity being particularly apparent…’

‘…Stephen Bryant(leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra)played the solo violin part,and he did so with dedication,involvement,warmth of tone and character.This immaculately prepared performance clearly delighted the composer…’

‘…Full of exotic arabesque figures,leader Stephen Bryant’s violin solos were exquisite…’

‘…Stephen Bryant,the leader,offered an evocative solo in the second section(Andante amoroso)…’

‘…there were some outstanding solos,notably from Stephen Bryant in the violin’s long soliloquy in the finale…’

‘…vividly characterised solo playing,especially from leader,Stephen Bryant…’

‘…with concertmaster Stephen Bryant responding with inspiration of his own…’

‘…leader,Stephen Bryant the epitome of tenderness…’

‘…..when she needed to Schwanewilms projected beautifully, but at all times she was at one with the dynamics of the orchestra; not to mention Stephen Bryant’s exquisite violin solo in the third Song….’

‘… an arrestingly simple, sincere delivery that was all the more affecting for it. Playing to match was crowned by a beautifully poised solo by leader Stephen Bryant in “Beim Schlafengehen”. Altogether, this was the finest performance of the work I’ve heard in a good number of years…..’

‘…..something which inspired leader Stephen Bryant to a beautifully tender solo (the dovetail with the voice at the solo’s conclusion was perfect)…..’

‘…..for Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel everyone seemed on their toes for this perilous but playful piece. Again, Stephen Bryant’s solo violin was notable…..’

‘…..the lighter passages fared very well despite the hall’s acoustic, whith some impressive playing from leader, Stephen Bryant….’

‘…..The Benedictus was gorgeously pastoral, with a deeply expressive, easily and confidently enunciated ritornello underpinning by the first violinist, Stephen Bryant. The sensuousness of this interlude was further increased by Christine Brewer…..’

‘….Stephen Bryant’s wonderful violin solos were another highpoint….’

‘….The other ingredient of a great Missa Solemnis is a violin soloist who can float above and through the orchestra in the Benedictus, playing tricky arpeggios while still conveying the peace of the Holy Spirit. Many fine recordings of the mass come to grief at this point but the orchestra’s leader, Stephen Bryant, achieved just the right balance of brilliance and beneficence….’

‘….mention should also be made of leader Stephen Bryant’s lovely violin solo in the Benedictus….’

From the Mail on Sunday David Mellor writes:

‘……. Job is a tricky work that some consider a masterpiece. There are certainly beautiful moments, as at the beginning of Job’s Dance or the end of the Dance of the Three Messengers. There’s also a reminder of the Lark Ascending in the radiant violin solo in Elihu’s Dance, dispatched with great artistry by the orchestra’s leader, Stephen Bryant….’

‘….But, of course, no one does the peace which passeth all understanding quite like Vaughan Williams, and leader Stephen Bryant’s beautiful solo in the starlit nocturne of ‘Elihu’s Dance of Youth and Beauty’ was like a second Lark Ascending, never to return to earth….’

‘….Leader Stephen Bryant was admirable in ‘Elihu’s Dance of Youth and Beuaty’, the evening’s most overt incursion onto ‘Lark Ascending’ territory….’

‘….Stephen Bryant’s violin solo was winningly poised….’

‘….The BBCSO’s leader Stephen Bryant had numerous solos in all these works, including the tone’higher contribution (on a second violin) for Mahler’s macabre second movement and he acquitted himself admirably….’

‘….there was exquisite playing particularly from the strings. Indeed, Stephen Bryant’s violin solo was poignantly expressive….’

Leonard Slatkin writes:

‘….Like the other two works on the program, this one exploits the orchestral resource to the max and is a fine showcase for the BBCSO’s leader, Stephen Bryant, as there is an extended cadenza for solo violin….’

‘….Concertmaster Stephen Bryant’s solo violin in the second ritornello showed that the BBCSO have a fine replacement for the well loved Michael Davis…..’

‘….the leader, Stephen Bryant, played the various solos enchantingly….’

‘… much lush effusion, with sumptuous string writing, sparkling solo violin (Stephen Bryant as the mermaid, of course,) …..’

‘….before the main protagonist enters in the guise of a fiendishly difficult fiddle solo (boldly surmounted by Stephen Bryant)….’

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