Hannu Lintu and Hélène Grimaud open the Philharmonia’s Brahms cycle 10/10/13

‘It is often said of British orchestras that their sound lacks the visceral, characterful edge of their colleagues on the continent. Lost underneath the technical perfection necessitated by a packed concert schedule are, we are told, commitment and passion for the music, as well as idiosyncrasies; where one can apparently tell Vienna from Berlin in a heartbeat, the LSO and LPO may as well be interchangeable. Well, the Philharmonia and Hannu Lintu – last-minute replacement for an ill Andris Nelsons – roundly dispelled this myth in the first concert of their Brahms cycle, with two first works: the youthful and impetuous First Piano Concerto with Hélène Grimaud, and the hard-won First Symphony. Despite the sudden change of personnel, the orchestra hung on every flamboyant flick of Lintu’s wrist, and a total unity of purpose was obvious throughout, with some of the most irresistibly luscious string playing I’ve ever heard from a British orchestra.’

Read my whole review of this excellent concert for Bachtrack here.

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