City Halls, Glasgow
Brabbins’ reading of the score, in which Tippett ingests myriad influences from Stravinsky to Copland and Britten, hit most of the vital buttons. He captured the assertiveness of the opening, its pummelling punctuating Cs, its motorised energy and its extreme clarity of purpose and texture. It proved a powerful springboard to the expansive sensitivities of the slow movement, the virile persona of the scherzo, and the gravitational inevitability of the finale, despite the inherent weakness of the final chord, which Brabbins made every noticeable effort to bring to the boil.
No weaknesses in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s sizzling account of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand. This was a hugely physical performance, Bavouzet rendering astonishing power in both the darkness and exhilaration of Ravel’s unfettered invention.
The concert opened auspiciously with a cosily-spun Haydn’s Symphony No 8 “Le Soir”.