City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4, Usher Hall, Review

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 04 December 2014

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The Usher Hall
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Olari Elts (conductor)

The musicians in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra displayed their talented versatility at last night’s concert. Robin Ticciati was booked to conduct the concert but at the last moment became unwell and not only was a Webern Symphony replaced with a Beethoven Overture but the Estonian conductor Olari Elts gallantly replaced Ticciati for the performance.

The entire programme consisted of Beethoven’s compositions and the concert began with his Coriolan Overture, which he wrote five years after von Collin’s Coriolan play was originally premiered. The overture is distinctively Beethoven with its frequent turbulent dramatic passages. Olan Elts is obviously passionate about Beethoven as he guided the musicians at a terrific pace and they played in an exemplary fashion.

Francesco Piemontesi was the soloist in Beethoven’s fourth concerto in G. An unassuming pianist he played all movements superbly, eliciting great emotion from even the simple passages, particularly those in the middle movement where he emphasised a sense of foreboding. And we were treated to an unusual encore when he accompanied the guest lead violinist Shunske Sato playing Mozart’s violin sonata in E minor.

The final piece on the programme was Beethoven’s fourth symphony. This symphony is not one that is often played but it was a pleasure to watch Elts conduct. He engages wholeheartedly in the music and his passion was tangible in the rousing passages. Taking only a moment’s breath between the third and fourth movement it was a marvellous rendition of the symphony and aptly illustrated the high calibre of musicianship of this orchestra.

Thursday 4 December 7.30pm Ayr Town Hall
Friday 5 December 7.30pm Glasgow City Halls
Saturday 6 December 7.30pm Perth Concert Hall