DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

SCRUTINY | Plenty To Celebrate In TSO Russian Evening With Daniil Trifonov

By Arthur Kaptainis on June 17, 2018

Peter Oundjian and Daniil Trifonov (Photo: Jag Gundu)
Peter Oundjian and Daniil Trifonov (Photo: Jag Gundu)

Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Daniil Trifonov (soloist) and Peter Oundjian (conductor) at Roy Thomson Hall, Saturday.

“Celebrating Peter Oundjian,” reads the title page of the printed program for the final concerts of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra season. This mission does not preclude the presence in Roy Thomson Hall of some very good pianists, including the Russian A-lister Daniil Trifonov, who on Saturday delivered a Rach 3 to remember.

But second things first. After intermission, we heard Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the inevitable Ravel orchestration. This is a great showpiece for individuals, sections and (in The Great Gate of Kiev) the whole shebang. Many were the highlights. I cannot remember hearing warmer or smoother solos in Bydlo (by a trombonist, playing euphonium) or The Old Castle (by the saxophonist).

Both numbers were remarkable also for their rich atmosphere, unforced tempi and subtle interplay of parts. The weighty brass of Catacombs resolved evocatively into the shimmering strings of Cum mortuis in lingua mortua. Oundjian gave us an interpretation of the multifaceted masterpiece, not just a performance.

This all-Russian program started with Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmilla, taken briskly enough but not with music-wrecking haste. Then Trifonov entered to cheers from a nearly full house that might have included a few fans of Russian descent.

Imagine the reaction afterwards. Rarely does the filigree of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 emerge with such consistent (even persistent) clarity.

Should this elaboration be in the foreground? One might concoct an argument to the contrary, but all those notes glowed handsomely. Tempo changes in the Intermezzo sounded spontaneous. Phrasing, whether lyrical and or dramatic, was true to the arch-romantic idiom. Strings were rich yet proportioned. Everywhere Oundjian maintained a fine balance.

The finale evoked the inevitable standing ovation. As an encore, Trifonov offered a hypnotically peaceful treatment of the middle movement of Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8. I see that he is playing the whole thing next February in Carnegie Hall. Worth the journey, I should say.

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis has been the classical music critic of the Montreal Gazette since 1986 and wrote for the National Post 2010-2016. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Ludwig Van. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto.
Arthur Kaptainis
Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis has been the classical music critic of the Montreal Gazette since 1986 and wrote for the National Post 2010-2016. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Ludwig Van. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto.
Arthur Kaptainis
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

SCRUTINY | Unlikely Pairing Of Orff And Korngold Hits The Spot In TSO Revival

By Joseph So on June 21, 2019

Jonathan Crow comes to the rescue. Runnicles' baton goes flying. Let's just say it was an exciting night of music making at the TSO with Orff's Carmina Burana and Korngold's Violin Concerto.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Mendelssohn In Birmingham Makes You Wonder Who He Really Was

By Norman Lebrecht on June 14, 2019

This really useful series has reached a clutch of shorter pieces, all of them offering fresh insights into the life and mind of the travelling composer-conductor, Felix Mendelssohn.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Man Disrupts Choir By Blowing A Whistle During Concert

By Anya Wassenberg on June 13, 2019

Newly released video captures a bizarre incident in Toronto where a man entered a choral performance and began blowing a whistle.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.