15 May, 2014

Concert Review: Philadelphia Orchestra - Sequin - Batiashvili

Concert Review: Philadelphia Orchestra - Sequin - Batiashvili

May 2, 2014, Carnegie Hall
Philadelphia Orchestra - Yannick Nezet-Sequin - Lisa Batiashvili

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of my favorites, an orchestra that consistently delivers in Carnegie Hall. Yannick Nezet-Sequin is their hot new director, someone I have heard previously only on records, so I looked forward to this concert! My feelings differ in a few ways from that of the NY Times review.

The Barber Adagio was played in a straightforward manner, which I like, yet I felt the gradation of dynamics was not the most subtle and the music lacked the last degree of flow.

Lisa Batiashvili often performs in NYC, and her popularity is well deserved. Here is someone who plays with the same strength and intelligence in concert as on records. The Bartok Violin Concerto had flair, and the orchestral contribution was wonderful too. Most importantly, her Guarnieri is golden in sound, richer than on records (which I follow closely)! The top has that smoothness allied to power, never prone to the sort of etchiness as a Strad could in the wrong hands.

I most looked forward to the Bruckner 9, and here my feelings were mixed. Nezet-Sequin's grasp was impressive for one so young, although he is occasionally prone to overdrive. But what sound he got out of the helden trombone player! It must rank among one of the most thrilling in my concert experience! The first movement moved well and erected a grand edifice. The scherzo was brilliant. Alas, the all-important third movement to me smoothed out the dissonance and failed to covey the dissolution that I deem essential to the music. Still, a very good performance. 

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