Press Reviews

“(Maxim Vengerov) was well matched by Rafter, whose musical poise and technical ease at the age of 27 meant that, even though there was not as much air in his phrasing as in Vengerov’s, there were moments when the two soloists could not be told apart. It’s no small feat to match a player of Vengerov’s calibre in this way.”


“The Vengerov-Rafter duo was a delight to behold and matched by a sensitive, pared-back RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Rafter, who studies under Vengerov in Switzerland, proved that this was a partnership of equals, and while there were some obvious similarities of technique and mannerisms, there was a deep, musical communication between the two. The opening movement showcased this good dialogue between the two soloists but it was not until the expressive Adagio that both got to shine: Rafter’s deep, lower melody line intertwined with the gossamer tone of Vengerov’s upper line. This was an emotional, almost seductive reading of the second movement that was quite thrilling. The third movement set off with great vigour and vim amidst busy semiquavers and lively camaraderie on stage. The double stops provided wonderful moments of musical humour between the soloists.”


“The Rising Stars concert that accompanied the event saw Rafter, who was accompanied by pianist Lance Coburn, perform with a scintillating technique on works by Bach and Franck.”