City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Brahms' Piano Concerto No 2, Usher Hall, Review


By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 27 January 2012

4
Robin Ticciati conducts
Show Details
Venue: 
The Usher Hall
Company: 
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Production: 
Robin Ticciati (conductor)
Performers: 
Tom Poster (piano), David Watkin (principal cello), Members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Running time: 
100mins

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra was in superb form at last night's concert at the Usher Hall. Under the baton of their Principal Conductor, Robin Ticciati, the versatility they displayed in controlling the dynamics in the first composition of the evening - Haydn's 'Philosopher' Symphony No 22 in E flat major - was excellent. In the second movement, which begins with a flurry, they enhanced the delightful nuances with aplomb.

The orchestra was reduced to a thirteen-piece ensemble for Gyorgy Ligeti's Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments, and it was unusual to have four keyboards in an ensemble of this size. Written in 1970, it is a challenging, complex composition, requiring the utmost concentration on behalf of the players and conductor. 

With no specific theme, and complex timing, instruments were thrown into sharp relief by the other instruments at unexpected moments. Ticciati's style of conducting is enthralling as he engages his body to mirror the music and the silence at the ending of the piece was almost reverential.

Last on the programme was Brahms Piano Concerto No 2 in B-flat major. The Scottish pianist Tom Poster is an outstandingly expressive pianist. His interpretation of this four- movement concerto was positively soulful at times, particularly in the slow movement when the piano is wooing the cello. He and the principal cellist, David Watkin, complemented one another exquisitely. The recital was a tour de force for Poster, as he had stepped in to perform this difficult concerto at only 2 days notice when the other pianist had to cancel as a result of a damaged finger. Poster, Ticciati and all the musicians excelled in this performance.

The SCO also perform Friday 27 January 7.30pm at Glasgow City Halls