Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Berliner Philharmonie, Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße, Berlin
I missed the first half, as follows…
- Myroslaw Skoryk Dytynstvo (Childhood), music from the film Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors
- Myroslaw Skoryk Music from the film Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors
- Mykola Lysenko Elegy, op. 41 No. 3 (orchestra version by Vsevolod Sirenko and Hobart Earle)
- Alemdar Karamanov Piano Concerto No. 3 “Ave Maria” Tamara Stefanovich piano
… but was pleased to catch Sibelius Two, a distinctive performance if not always the best-serving of the music, especially the very leisurely tempo for the opening of the first movement, which became adrift from the quicker speeds then adopted by (Venezuelan) Hobart Earle, although he wasn’t shy of expanding again. The Odessa Philharmonic is a good ensemble, especially the characterful woodwinds, although the strings (violins either side of the conductor, the eight basses in a row behind the rest of the players) are not the plushest and the brass a little watery. The second movement was gone straight into, somewhat lethargic in tempo and short on tension, Earle eventually forcing things along without quite filling the emotional gaps and restraining the volatility. Yet, given the situation in Ukraine, and this Sibelius Symphony often being described as nationalistic, Finland back then having its own troubles with Russia, following a fleet Scherzo and expressive Trio, the Finale was majestic, impassioned and triumphant. Music may not win wars but it can speak volumes. For an encore the strings found an extra degree of tone for Myroslaw Skoryk’s Melody, lovely, and a second extra featured something by Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912), “the father of modern Ukrainian classical music”, the Overture to his opera Taras Bulba.