The concert got off to a rousing and enjoyable start with Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, before the charismatic Vadim Repin – all twinkling eyes and smiles - strolled on stage and greeted his fellow musicians, conductor and audience. Repin's reputation rests not only only his technical brilliance, but also his passionate musicality and style, and this performance of Max Bruch's perennially popular Violin Concerto No. 1 was the perfect illustration of why he's considered one of the world's greatest living violinists – the sounds he drew from his Guarneri del Gesù 1743 Bonjour violin were achingly beautiful; I was enthralled.
Repin was cheered back on stage for a show-stealing encore – accompanied by the orchestral strings playing pizzicato, he performed a series of variations on Paganini's Carnival of Venice, a dazzling showcase of every virtuoso trick in the book, yet played with warmth and humour. An unmissable performance!
The concert was rounded out with a dramatic and hugely enjoyable performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 4, which saw both the Philharmonia Orchestra and energetic conductor Puccio enthusiastically applauded at its close, cheers which were rewarded with a further generous encore - an exhilarating rendition of Beethoven's Egmont Overture op. 84. A wonderful evening!
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Carnival of Venice
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Egmont Overture op. 84
Sponsored by Q8 to celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary, part of the proceeds of the event were donated to the Francisville charity project in Haiti run by Fondazione Francesca Rava – N.P.H. Italia.