RSNO: Oundjian and Benedetti ****
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
The Elgar is new to Benedetti’s repertoire, and the striking thing about this performance was its searching quality. Take that magical moment when the soloist first enters, almost suppressing the orchestra, telling it to calm down before embarking on a whole new poetic journey.
The journey Benedetti took us on was more sweet than intense, though by the gorgeous slow movement a real personality began to shine through and the poetry found a silvery penetrating voice. And then the finale, more capricious than dazzling, but finding plenty energy to drive the music to its climax. An engaging performance by Benedetti, but I doubt this is her final say on this challenging concerto.
Under Peter Oundjian, the RSNO gave reliable support. Then The Rite of Spring, which was remarkable, almost obsessive in its clarity, conductor Peter Oundjian carving out the detail with analytical precision. The opening lacked cohesion, and the final chord was a tad anxious, but in between it was pulverising and thrilling.
Higgins’s Velocity proved an effective concert opener, its tantalising rhythms and fearsome energy neatly preemptive of the Stravinsky.