ON the eve of Valentines Day a lady in red charmed the Dome audience to cries of “bravo”.
The young woman was Evelina Puzaite, as slender as a flute but a musical heavyweight in talent on the piano.
I wondered if the interval would ever get started as wave upon wave of applause washed across the concert hall in acknowlegement of her outstanding performance of Beethoven’s piano concerto No 3 in C minor.
Captivating, sensitive, at times powerful, Miss Puzaite’s playing sounded as personal a statement as Beethoven’s deeply emotional concerto.
And she found a willing accomplice in an on-form orchestra, which time and time again picked up the theme and melody of Miss Puzaite’s dazzling solos like a relay baton and finally carried it in triumph across the finishing line in the concerto’s Mozart-like concluding Rondo.
I wish Schumann’s Third Symphony had the same effect on me, because the orchestra was equally technically adroit on this piece.
But the mentally-troubled master’s work does nothing for me emotionally, despite its obvious quality.
It is meant as a compliment when I say the orchestra captured perfectly the unremitting gloom of the Feierlich, marked solemn but several notches below that in its pervading darkness.
The orchestra played this movement so well I was glad when it was over.
Fortunately the same marvellous horn and trombone playing that eloquently sounded the doomy landscape of the Feierlich
movement rescued the mood in some punchy playing that produced a lively and almost celebratory conclusion in the Lebhaft.
With mood swings like this it is no wonder the poor man ended up in what they once so sensitively called an asylum for the insane after trying to drown himself.
The orchestra opened with a strong performance of the Overture to the Magic Flute, an opera which Mozart tragically did live long enough to enjoy the success of in any great way.
Hazardous business, this composing lark.