Dave and I went to a concert at Davies Symphony Hall tonight featuring an orchestra, conductor, and pianist I didn’t remember having heard of before, but all three are definitely now on my radar. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, played a really stunning Brahms First Piano Concerto in the first half of the program, with Hélène Grimaud as soloist. Ms. Grimaud was amazing. She plays with enormous fire and force — really, it’s a wonder the piano didn’t break apart and fall crashing to the floor at the end of the last movement — but at the same time with a lot of clarity and care for details and nuances; it’s not a common thing to get both of those qualities together. Breathtaking.
After intermission was a powerful, fierce playing of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and I can’t remember when I’ve heard the last movement’s mixture of triumph and despair more vividly conveyed. Wow wow wow.
Tomorrow night the same musicians perform Ravel’s Mother Goose and Piano Concerto in G and Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony. We’re hoping to be there.