EIF 2016: Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Usher Hall, Review
It was a joy to watch Daniil Trifonov at the piano again. A few years ago his lurching towards the keyboard was eccentric and mildly irritating but that's now been tempered. This makes it far easier to watch the young Russian born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on 5 March 1991. Trifonov was playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1 of 1797 - when the composer was twenty seven.
Whilst Trifonov is certainly at the top of his game with a long way ahead of him, so too the evening's conductor. Daniel Harding who turns 41 in a few day's time was born in Oxford. He quickly came to the attention of Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. In 2007 he was appointed the Principal Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra he had brought with him to the Usher Hall.
Mahler's Ninth Symphony was written when the composer knew he had heart trouble and towards the end of his busy but organised life. At the time he was spending half the year in New York with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, and the other half composing quietly in the Dolomites. The first movement is often considered his finest - in a contented busy world comes news of imminent death. Dances are featured in the second movement and the third expresses the frustrations of life. The final movement winds down and down; time and again just carrying on that little bit longer.
Performance: Friday 19th August 2016 at 19:30