It wasn’t just the patrons who were enthralled with youthful violinist Philippe Quint’s performance and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra on Friday night at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Quint, who was in Lincoln a couple of years ago with the Cape Town Symphony, breezed through the Tchaikovsky “Violin Concerto in D Major,” Opus 35. To say it was a masterpiece doesn’t quite do it the justice it deserves.
Quint has a sense of lyric opera in him, evident in his grandiose body movements in synch with the music. When not playing, Quint turned his attention to LSO conductor Ed Polochick and the orchestra, listening, interpreting their interpretation and taking it from there.
The result was a rendering of the Tchaikovsky work seldom surpassed on recordings or anywhere. It seemed as if Quint were wrapping his long arms around the ensemble, dancing with Polochick, shepherding everyone into the music to make a unified gift for the 650 Symphony patrons.
Orchestra players were smiling big time, too.
Beethoven’s Second Symphony and “How Slow the Wind” by Toru Takemitsu filled the first half of the playbill. The Takemitsu piece got disclaimers in a short talk by Polochick, who told patrons it was not an easily digested contemporary work.
It wasn’t, but it was played well by the orchestra, and patrons were content to let it slide by in preparation for the Beethoven piece.
Beethoven was played well. Orchestra dynamics were on target, given the work’s groundbreaking trek into Romanticism. But at times some brass players were a bit strident. Strings bowed well together, and patrons gave the rendering a good round of applause, shaking off the Takemitsu experience.
It was worth the wait for Quint, however. Orchestra and Quint worked magic to bring a nonpareil Tchaikovsky excursion to the stage. Bravo!