Saturday, April 2, 2022

Orchestra Hall, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan

If ever a concert looked to be without a starting work, this was the one. Quality before quantity of course, and less can often be more, but two roughly half-hour pieces do not a concert make.

Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto is richly expressive and confiding, music that transports and transcends if remaining in the shadows of the violin repertoire, and with an interesting history, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_Concerto_(Schumann), to which Isabelle Faust, sympathetically accompanied, brought technical virtuosity and innate musicianship to field the notes into an impassioned and compelling whole; the slow movement, a lyrical wonder, was sensitively outlined and deeply explored, and the Finale spaciously shaped in true polonaise fashion.

Jukka-Pekka Saraste’s direct, detailed and cohesive reading of Sibelius Five is a seasoned interpretation (and twice recorded), a view of the music that has authority on its side, without necessarily being the last word, and which transferred persuasively to a well-drilled DSO.

The concert was in memoriam Anne Parsons.

Sad news: Anne Parsons, longtime President and CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, passes away at 64.