10 September, 2009

Concert Review: SZO/Mahni/Ehwald

Concert Review: SZSO/Mahni/Ehwald

SZ Concert Hall

Sometimes you have to make difficult choices. For this concert I had to forgo a dinner of rack of lamb! I was amply rewarded at the end.

Concert opened with a subtly inflected and atmospheric Lohengrin overture; the beautiful strings immediately conjured up the grail!

Sibyll Mahni, Solo Horn of the Frankfurt Opera, played the Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 with great confidence and her sound just filled the hall. Laudable was the detailed and fluid accompaniment, no easy task given the conglomeration of style in this early Strauss.

I need not spend more words to praise the Brahms Symphony No. 1 given by Christian Ehwald. A rock-solid performance of great beauty, and every word said about the strengths of his accounts of No. 4 and No. 3 (click for my previous reviews) still holds true. Only one thing alrmed me, that the strings seemed diminished in number, 14, 11, 8, 9. 8 in this performance., and this is fewer in number than previously, something I hope is not permanent nor reflective of the orchestra's financial or recruitment deficiencies.

I am not sure whether Ehwald had done the Second Symphony before, but I sure would love to hear it to complete MY cycle!

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