Rory Macdonald conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in a stunning programme of Sibelius and Tchaikovsky, which was filmed as live at Royal Festival Hall on 18 March 2021:
SIBELIUS Dance Intermezzo Op. 45 No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
SIBELIUS King Christian II Suite
How on earth can you make this concerto sound new? By dialling everything down and revealing the delicacy that lies behind the surface fireworks. Ably abetted by conductor Rory Macdonald… Macdonald shaped the orchestral sound in a way that allowed it to work, so that there was never any sense of coarseness or ostentation. It’s unexpected, but quite lovely, and made the normally barnstorming opening sound much more lyrical than usual… Macdonald and the orchestra met him with tone that matched the pianist beautifully, nowhere more so than in the dusky delicacy of the beginning and end of the slow movement. They then produced a showcase of colour for Sibelius’ King Christian II suite…
Simon Thompson, Bachtrack*****
Available to watch on demand here until 1 July 2021.