Sarah Chang opens the Mendelssohn concerto with a big, wide vibrato, making this lightly romantic work sound overtly sentimental. Such was her treatment of the first movement--rendering it heavily romantic. At first I was not used to this kind of interpretation, but then I started to appreciate it, and finally, love it. The third movement is simply flawless, musically and technically.
Her Sibelius is of the standard Julliard-type. One cannot really blame her for not giving a personalized interpretation of this work; after all, it's been recorded over 50 times, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to form an individual interpretation, especially when most of today's young players are taught to remain faithful to the score. I did not adore her tone recorded in this live concert--a bit harsh in my opinion. Her technique was near-perfect.
I'd like to point out one place in the first movt. of the Sibelius where I thought her rendition was the best ever. It's right before the coda, the twelve measures before no. 11 of the score, this very long trill of an A. The soloist's and orchestra's playing of crescendo and diminuendo are in perfect unity. The soloist's sound nearly disappears when the orchestra plays pianissimo pizzicato. These compelling rise and fall in dynamics are not marked on the score.