On 2nd December, the Philharmonia held their last DMH concert of the year with a mixed programme. The Bernstein was egotistical and derivative as one would expect: written in the 1930s this might have been noteworthy; yet it clearly borrows so much from Ives and Britten to name but two.
A pause ensued as one chap rearranged everything on the stage. Seriously embarrassing. It took an age. Had the weather been warmer, people might have squeezed in a little picnic outside. The DMH is slowly unravelling it seems. A new paintjob has to be paid for somehow. Or perhaps the Philharmonia only send one chap up north.
The Grieg PC, a favourite everywhere had moments of real beauty, but much of it seemed a bit turgid and underwhelming.
After the interval, a very decent account was offered of a relatively unknown Sibelius tone-poem. I think it is fair to say that the shortcomings which remained were of composition, not of the interpretation. There were some very fine moments in this (not the least of which was a fine flute solo. Spring was sorrowful much as Sibelius intended here.
Finally Tchaikovsky, perhaps the best piece and by some way the finest performance of the evening - the orchestra seemed in its element and the music flowed
Joshua Weilerstein conductor
Denis Kozhukhin piano
Bernstein, Symphonic Suite, On the Waterfront
Grieg, Piano Concerto
Sibelius, Spring Song
Tchaikovsky, Francesca da Rimini