(photo credit: )
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert this week overflowed with
Romanticism – Schumann and Chopin, as well as two Tchaikovsky pieces for good
Nikolai Lugansky, the soloist who played Chopin’s Piano Concerto
No. 1, proved that he could make the piano sing with a captivating soft touch in
the melodious passages. In the fast movements, he displayed brilliant
virtuosity. He maintained formidable flexibility, allowing the music to breathe
between phrases and convey its lyrical content.
The final movement glided
off the keys with delicate sparkle and elegance.
Russian conductor Kirill
Petrenko presented an electrifying rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da
Rimini and Capriccio Italien.
The performance was impressively stormy and
energetic, but Petrenko also understood that true musicality is proven not just
by letting loose boisterous masses of orchestral sound but also by his ability
to restrain the instruments to a subtle pianissimo where appropriate and to
crystalclear transparency, despite this composer’s heavy
These carefully conceived contrasts between high-voltage
drama and endearing gracefulness sustained the level of artistic tension
throughout the performance.