I had this concert in my mind as “2nd Haitink gig”, “the other cool Brahms symphony I have not heard live this year yet” and “another fancy violinist doing Mendelssohn”. I hadn’t, however, though at all about the Thomas Adès that was opening the concert: Three Studies from Couperin. And it ended up being the most interesting part of the concert.

The work is beautiful and perfectly showcased every good aspect about the London Symphony Orchestra. Haitink exposed it in a way that we all though we knew the work well (ah! the magic of quoting Couperin!).

After a pause for the orchestra re-arrangement Veronika Eberle played a average Mendelssohn violin concerto. From the technical point of view it was good and the performance did not lack of intensity. But all the soloist part was kind of plain compared with an orchestra. And the when orchestra is playing which more nuances than the soloist in a romantic violin concerto, there is something wrong. I don’t know if this was about the age gap between soloist and conductor but two separately good parts didn’t sum up an extraordinary one.

On the second part Brahms second symphony. The surprise here was that the approach was very different from the one that same conductor and same orchestra took for the same composer third symphony. Ah, the magic of music. Trying to be more expressive than analytical this time, more misty than clear. And of course this also works very well with Brahms