I would love to be a fly on the wall when Jonathan Biss is practicing in the privacy of his apartment to see if he is as physical then as he is on the concert platform. He is what you might call and mover and shaker in front of the keyboard–bending low, arcing back, fidgeting with his cuffs, ending runs with flying flourishes. As he started Beethoven’s 3rd concerto with the BSO in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Saturday I found myself smiling at his boisterous movements. But then I forgot about them as he proceeded to play quite sublimely. I was struck by his powerful and accurate trills, for one thing. And I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that octave passage from the piano after the fugue in the third movement more beautifully played. I’m looking forward to hearing the complete Beethoven sonata recording cycle he’s embarked on.
It’s always a pleasure to hear Günter Herbig, and it was an especial pleasure to hear him conduct (without a score) Schubert’s 6th symphony, which seems to find its way onto a concert platform far too seldom in my opinion. It was a gorgeous performance.
The BSO has their annual vacation in their sights now–the final concerts of the subscription series are this weekend, then holiday concerts followed by a well deserved break. Happy days.Tags:Baltimore Symphony, Beethoven, holidays, music