Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Isarphilharmonie, Hans-Preißinger-Straße 8, 81379 München

Just landed on DG Stage+ (if a little later than intended, technical issues), one of several Brahms concerts that Zubin Mehta has been conducting in Munich with the Philharmonic (embracing the Four Concertos and the Four Symphonies) and soon in Spain followed – on February 3 & 4 – by New York City (Carnegie Hall), featuring both of the Piano Concertos with Yefim Bronfman and Symphonies 2 & 4. This January 9 concert – excellent picture and sound – includes a gloriously expansive and richly expressive Double Concerto (Violin & Cello, Opus 102) with Lisa Batiashvili and Gautier Capuçon, both technically immaculate and musically searching, intense relationships with their respective instruments, the performance flexible and deeply communicating, with a (full-strength, eight left-positioned basses, violins antiphonal) accompaniment at once detailed with finesse and tailor-made to the soloists and the musical whole: much eloquence and fiery passion. Much to relish too with the Third Symphony, a time-taken reading of largesse, plenty of feeling and dynamic subtlety, with many beguiling woodwind contributions. With the exposition repeated, and Mehta’s deliberation of tempo, the first movement was majestic, if leavened by bittersweet reminiscences – exactly the ‘autumnal’ that this Symphony is described as – yet hanging together organically and with fine balances (brass embedded). The middle movements emerged as musical poetry, phrased and played sensitively, the very antithesis of being metronomic; rather these were con amore traversals, never cloying, played with warmth by the alert Munich Philharmonic responding to Mehta’s direction with raptness. Unhurried if articulate, the Finale blossomed with intent before winding down with satisfaction.

https://www.stage-plus.com/de/video/vod_concert_APNM8GRFDPHMASJKBSQJ2D8?player=true (subscription needed)