Music review: The SCO, Robin Ticciati, Christian Tetzlaff & Tanya Tetzlaff

Rather than a strict, exacting '“ and more conventional '“ upbeat, it was with a grand, generous sweep of both arms, left to right, that conductor Robin Ticciati summoned the opening chord of his Beethoven Seventh Symphony from the SCO. That might seem a tiny detail, but it said so much about his approach throughout the orchestra's magnificent season-closing concert. It was bold and hearty, but it was also as if he was throwing something open, encouraging possibilities. As a result, his Beethoven was a joy '“ impeccably crisp, clean and full of detail, kept briskly on its toes, but shot through with a captivating generosity of spirit that was matched by the musicians' hugely characterful playing.

Robin Ticciati PIC: Marco Borggreve

SCO, Robin Ticciati, Christian Tetzlaff (violin) & Tanya Tetzlaff (cello) *****

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Before the interval, Ticciati had shown the same clarity and detail in Brahms’s Double Concerto – to such uncanny transparency that he even made the richness of brother-and-sister Christian and Tanya Tetzlaff’s playing seem on the thick side. They gave an astonishing performance, nonetheless – gruff when it needed to be, vulnerable too, with natural, unforced communication between them, honing in on the Concerto’s singular mix of joy and tragedy. They blazed through a fiery encore, too, of a movement from Kodály’s Duo, just as exuberant and ebullient as could be hoped.

Ticciati set the tone in his mischievously playful opener, the Beethoven-inspired Con brio by contemporary German composer Jörg Widmann, which felt almost like a concerto for SCO timpanist Matthew Hardy, hard at work across all parts of his instruments – skins, rims, bodies, pedals and more. It was a gloriously madcap start to a thrillingly fresh, big-hearted concert.