But that was more than made up for by the sock-it-to-you trumpets and trombones of the Berlioz Le Corsaire overture. The principal conductor, Christoph von Dohnanyi, is an old hand at building and balancing an extended run of accumulating orchestration with the minimum of fuss. The brass were able to give extra thrills and a substantial string presencehad warmth it will not have been used to in the drier acoustic of its usual home.
In Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, the soloist Till Fellner seemed to agree that this would be a big-hall type of performance, announcing himself with a bold and rather severe flourish and continuing in an earnest, often elegant but literal style. As you grew used to Fellner's view, the performance became more absorbing. He has a superb technique in rapid, delicately burgeoning figuration, and he can phrase with ultra-slow inwardness.
If you're going to play something as famous as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, you have to keep everybody on their toes in case they, listeners as much as players, lapse into automatic-pilot mode. Dohnanyi did it by scrupulous and confident attention to the kind of inner detail that gives the music its propulsive force. A couple of times, whole sections took off from a little extra emphasis by the timpani. The effect of huge energy compressed into a short time was even more striking than usual.
A finely sustained pianissimo added to the anticipation of another great trombone moment. But they weren't just loud. Once again, they played strongly within a properly rounded orchestral whole.Reuse content