Vienna Philharmonic – Leonidas Kavakos – Christoph Eschenbach – Brahms – Violin concerto – Symphony n°1
I was a little suspicious, having listened quickly to this concerto by this soloist and Chailly with mixes feelings. It was a wonder. As we can see, the soloist (1967 *) has a rather unusual appearance. If his sound projection is not great but sufficient enough and if we could hear a more frenzied final, it was a rare musical happiness. Correctness, sense of rhythm, phrasing, style and supreme beauty of his game. The soloist is to absolute quiet, turning towards the orchestra when he was not playing and even accompanying for some bars the first violins in unison. He gave 2 remarkable encores. The entire orchestra congratulated him, but it becomes the norm – if this time it was much-deserved, it will end up being embarrassing when an orchestra does not applaud a soloist! We would like to hear him soon also on the podium… Cf. his site.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was of course wonderful, even if we would like to hear it in a room with more sound projection. He disposed in the “old” way, 2nds violins on the right then violas, cellos in the middle and double basses at the bottom left. See an interview with Herbert Blomstedt about the arrangement of the orchestra. We had a great interpretation of the 1st Brahms played with great care under Christoph Eschenbach, a traditional approach, with drums that were not for once thundering. Of course, we remember some older versions, but the musical discourse was not fragmented, with a second movement ‘rural’ at will. There were microphones, maybe this will he broadcasted someday?