Music review: BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow
BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow ***
And what a gift to start with: Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s Danzon No 2, a sizzling riot of Latin vim and vigour, based on the traditional dance style, and played here with all the riotous abandon Márquez’s intoxicating orchestration incites.
The immediate shift to Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony was a severe clash of extremes. Our heads still buzzing from high-grade Mexican stimulant, the symphony’s sweet, sombre opening was like asking the taste buds to make sense of a subtle cheese in the immediate wake of a vindaloo. Eventually, the receptors settled, and Edusei’s reading emerged as one of tasteful precision.
The coupling of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 22 and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegl in the second half bore more aesthetic promise, but with soloist Pavel Kolesnikov adopting such self-obsessed isolation in the concerto – undernourished projection, cadenzas that ran out of inspirational steam and one clear parting of synchronised company with the orchestra – the contrast was once again extreme.
Thank goodness for Edusei’s resplendent Strauss, a narrative feast, wild but cohesive, distinguished from the start by Alberto Menéndez Escribano’s spot-on athletic horn solo, Strauss’ final shrieking clarinet something of a metaphor for a crazy evening.