Sibelius 7 was interesting but didn’t stir me especially. I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve ever Sibelius 7 before and, if I haven’t, I wonder whether its not played that much. And if that the case, I wonder whether the clue is in the work itself.
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 – a crowd-pleasing ‘workhorse’ in the repertoire – seemed a little wooden. Some tuning issues between the solo piano and orchestra as a whole (most noticeable in the exposed bassoon and piano solo). Rocky ensemble between piano and orchestra in places too. The cheer was loud from the hall (suggesting the acoustic muffles such errors). It was a performance which left me feeling a little ‘meh’ – a word I generally don’t use and, I understand, is one which even the young people don’t use either now.
Shostakovich 10 was an entirely different matter. A dazzling performance combining immense beauty with the kind of tightly-controlled and hugely effective anger that took my breath away. This was the BBC NOW at their best yet again.