At Leeds Town Hall
The BBC Philharmonic are world-class, with seriously good intonation, sparkling woodwind, and string tone that has an enamel-bright surface resting on beefy resonance.
Under guest conductor Gnther Herbig they also had the precision which in emotional music produces deep feeling better than
the fog of schmaltz we often hear.
After setting out their store in Weber's Euryanthe Overture they were joined by soloist Erik Schumann – a rare visitor to the UK with a huge career in Europe and the United States – in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
A performance as accurate as this – none of the ensemble raggedness that can bedevil this work – revealed it as not only an emotional tour de force but also masterfully written.
The soloist, with sensitive vibrato and expression without sentimentality, matched the orchestra and compelled attention.
The performance of Dvorak's Eighth Symphony was exactly as described by Leeds' resident programme note writer and prose stylist Simon Lindley: "This gorgeously wrought tapestry in musical texture – by turns as tender as a string quartet or as uplifting as the brassiest band – unfolds with the natural, unforced, personal utterance of its prodigiously gifted composer".
Not even the noise of the gale rumbling around the Town Hall roof could spoil this.