During this concert we took a leisurely stroll around Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, the conductor, Yuri Simonov, pointing out details we may have missed in our usual modern-day rush.
The trumpets’ pungent open tone in the introductory Promenade reminded us of that now long-forgotten individuality of Russian orchestras, the many excellently played solos coming from an international ensemble of high repute.
The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks cheeping delightfully; Goldenberg and Schmuyle were suitably belligerent, but it was left to the orchestra’s superb trombones to bring that final touch of grandeur in the Great Gate of Kiev.
The evening began with Rimsky-Korsakov’s smoothed version of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain, the brass highlighting the grotesque parts of the glorification of Satan.
In keeping with the remainder of the concert, the young Russian violinist, Nikita Boris-Glebsky, savoured every moment of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, his first movement cadenza as slow as I have ever heard. It was elegant playing, with intonation in the centre of every note, those quick retakes of the bow as rhythmically perfect as you will ever hear.
Sheffield City Hall, October 20, 0114 278 9789.