The season's opening of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, was an all-Brahms concert. This was a conservative program, just as could be expected of the IPO, although Brahms is, of course, always welcome.
Soloist Rudolf Buchbinder, in Piano Concerto No. 2, savours every phrase and every tone he is playing, in an unhurried, deliberate way, giving its full weight to each note. There is no hovering over the keys and there are no swallowed notes for mere velocity's sake.
Occasional slowings down just emphasize a sequence's signficance. Articulation was incisive, contributing plasticity, liveliness and breathing space to phrases.
The third movement's exquisite lyricism was conveyed delicately, and the fourth one's lightheartedness was rendered with intoxicating sparkle. It was a gripping performance.
Symphony No. 1 was presented in a conservative, solid, well-rehearsed and routinely performance, without much excitement or tension.