Dimitris Sgouros with the Budapest Festival Orchestra & Iván Fischer in Athens [November 15, 2015]
Review by Nick A. Dontas [published November 29, 2015]
Translation from Greek
Sgouros and Fischer in an exciting interpretation of the 1st Concerto for piano of Brahms. © Ch. Akriviadis
Not one month after the interpretation of Beethoven's "Heroic" by Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, the (Athens) Concert Hall programmed the same work with another great orchestra, this time the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer. This was a performance distinctive for its vigor, strength, vitality, plasticity.
On November 15, in the Friends of Music Hall, Fischer unleashed the spirit of the project, revolutionary in every respect, highlighting all aspects of musical notation. The quality of the reading was evident from the very beginning. First, the arrangement of the orchestra, the double bass positioned in the center, behind the woodwinds and strings arranged amphitheatrically on pedestals, strengthened the emergence of different "voices" of writing, as the sound reached the listener from focused and clearly distinguishable centers.
Fischer emphasized the music with sharp formalities and highlighted the momentum
through constantly readjusted speeds and myriad dynamic gradations. The result
was strongly emotionally charged, while leaving room for the noble interventions
of the woodwinds.
The number of dynamic gradations grew in the slow second part, and in
Fischer's hands acquired solemnity and majesty, qualities very different from
the static majestic interpretation of Mehta. Resourceful and airy sounds
characterized the third part. The cohesion didn't falter with the excellent
performance of the final part where changes dominated among the more marching
paragraphs in intensely dramatic and brightly lit diffusions, as expressed by
the flute-dominated motifs. A modern, exciting interpretation steeped in deep
erudition, by a man clearly informed of developments.
In the first part of the concert, Dimitris Sgouros interpreted the First Piano Concerto of Brahms. Sgouros showed excellent familiarity with the work, and abundant technique and craftsmanship for such demanding music. Today, however, he also has the delicacy and expressiveness for the lyrical middle section. His collaboration with the wonderful orchestra under Ivan Fischer heralded a delightful interpretation.
◊ LIVE videocast from Budapest - February 6, 2016 ◊
ARCHIVED VIDEOCAST FROM BUDAPEST OF 6th FEBRUARY 2016 @ 23:30 CET
"MIDNIGHT MUSIC" EXTRAVAGANZA - dimitris sgouros & BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA / Iván Fischer PERFORM BRAHMS PIANO CONCERTO NO 1
◊ LIVE radio & online broadcast from Holland - December 7, 2015 ◊
LISTEN ON-DEMAND — ARCHIVED BROADCAST FROM EINDHOVEN OF 7th DECEMBER 2015 @ 20:00 CET
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