MSO's young guests offer a fresh approach to Beethoven and Brahms

07.22.18
Joshua Weilerstein
Brisbane Times

Here’s a surprise from the MSO which is combining two young guests in a program that looks conservative but has enough novelty to keep even the most blasé concert-goer attentive. Yes, the concert’s title couldn’t be more old guard and the actual works are well-known; the surprises come in the presentation and the higher-than-usual level of enthusiasm brought into play.

Australian-born Jayson Gillham has carved out a formidable reputation already; you could see why in Friday’s performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The most direct-speaking of the composer’s five works in the form and the only one in a minor key, this calmly insistent score gains through an interpreter’s exercise of restraint and Gillham kept a level head through the outer movements. Firm but not over-demonstrative across the dramatic stretches and avoiding self-indulgence in the central  Largo, he offered a sensible and disciplined view of these very familiar pages.
 
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