Myung-whun Chung was back in Paris to conduct the famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. The great Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, one of today’s finest virtuoso, had to cancel almost at the last minute, and was replaced by Isabelle Faust.
The concert began with Brahms’ Violin Concerto. The German violinist was impeccable – it’s never easy to fill in for another artist on such short notice, and the piece is bristled with difficulties – and the orchestra was at par. Even the 3rd movement, which I basically like less, was quite enjoyable.
Isabelle Faust gave a short and unusual encore that she kindly announced: an Amusement by French composer Louis-Gabriel Guillemain.
Chung and the Dutch Orchestra were back for a most remarkable “Eroica”. The 2nd movement of the Symphony, the Marcia funebre, in Beethoven’s beloved C minor, was outstanding, with its multiple fugatos and a superb climax. The Scherzo allowed for a short “break” before the extraordinary Finale, with its “pointillist” and fugal treatment of the theme. What an excellent evening!