April 11th, 2014

critic

Brahms & Schumann


Modest excellence. Not showy. Not overly excellent. Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Philharmonic tonight, Brahms' first piano concerto with Paul Lewis and then Schumann's second symphony. By the end of the run the excellence may well be greater; it was technically quite good tonight, but with slight internal irregularities. Nothing huge, just blemishes, a messy attack here, a little shrill there. By the end of the Schumann, not so much to notice. Dohnanyi's in the solid old maestro mold, so precision and good bones are to be expected. Heat, maybe not so much, at least with this ensemble. He doesn't impress himself on the music, and will probably draw them to technical excellence, but the spark of inspiration will probably continue to elude them. (None of this should be taken as complaining...it was really quite good and better than many. It just didn't reach greatness, didn't so much feel like it was reaching for greatness.)