Moscow State Symphony Orchestra

05.14.10
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Yorkshire Post

By David Denton

It is good to find an orchestra that has retained those Russian tonal characteristics of yesteryear when regional differences have all but disappeared in a faceless world of sterile musical perfection.
 
I wonder how many times the Moscow State have played Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, yet it can still engender that surge of adrenalin to screw up the excitement in the outer movements, whiplash timpani and searing trumpets crowning the climatic moments. 
Conductor, Pavel Kogan, gave a virile and urgent realisation of the score, the quiet and relaxed moments in the central Andante Cantabile and Waltz mellowed by the golden glow of the upper strings underpinned by eight glorious double-basses of rare quality.


Philip Glass's minimalist Violin Concerto is certainly an acquired taste, but put it into the hands of the phenomenal Chloe Hanslip, and its haunting quality is irresistible.

Still only 22 she has a staggering technique that dealt easily with the mercurial passages, her intonation so exact, and energy levels digging her deep into her violin when adding to orchestral tutti passages, though a few less strings players would have achieved a better balance.

If a white-heat account of Tchaikovsky's March Slav had set the scene for the concert, it was the showpiece encore, a dance from Khachaturian's ballet, Gayane, that put the seal on a superb concert.