SCO |Intensity

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Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Robin Ticciati [conductor]
Renaud Capucon - violin: Members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Robin Ticciati conducted last night’s concert at the Usher Hall which began with a performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto. When it was first performed in 1806 it wasn’t well received and it was only after Beethoven’s death did it receive the acclaim it so well deserved. The French violinist Renaud Capucon was the soloist and he gave a remarkable virtuoso performance, eliciting all the passion and pathos imbued in this difficult concerto.

When the music began Capucon stood quite still in an almost meditative pose as the orchestra played the lengthy intro and then he became completely engaged in the music when his solo part began. He gave an outstanding performance of the complex cadenza in the first movement and in the middle movement, the Larghetto, he brought out to perfection the sweet melodies Beethoven so often includes in his music. And his playing in the finale was superb, one of the best performances I have heard.

Schubert’s Symphony No 9 in C was the last composition of the concert. Known as the ‘great C major’ it was eleven years after his death that it was first performed in its entirety conducted by Mendelssohn. Schumann was ecstatic in his praise for this work and hailed the symphony for ‘its heavenly length.’

It is an ambitious work for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to be playing because the volume of musicians in a chamber orchestra is almost half to that of a symphony orchestra but with the full complement of brass they created a great sound. It is a very challenging piece for an orchestra to play as it requires constant high octane energy on the part of the musicians but Ticciati however was in complete control.

There are many rousing passages in the four movement symphony with several dramatic pauses but the orchestra created a memorable performance.

Friday 6 March: Glasgow City Halls, 7.30pm. The programme is Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Lindberg Violin Concerto and Schubert’s Symphony No 9.

Saturday 7 March: Aberdeen Music Hall, 7.30pm. Beethoven Violin Concerto and Schubert Symphony No 9.