Robin Ticciati & SCO - Schumann: The Symphonies Live - The Times

The Rhine was the final stop on Robin Ticciati’s Prom with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), but before Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony there were many more watery depths to stir in a thoughtfully programmed, finely calibrated concert. Ticciati is about to start his ninth and final season with the SCO and the rapport is evident in the freedom, a cultivated kind of spontaneity, that he achieves with the group. A fluidity to Ticciati’s beat, no pun intended, is part of this, and if just occasionally you want harder, sharper edges, every texture is carefully weighed and felt.

For all the fresh energy of Brahms’s Tragic Overture, a tragedy shaded in brighter colours than usual, and the painterly vignettes of the Schumann — its five movements persuasively moulded as impulsive sketches — the dark gems of this concert were postludes to German romanticism. Towards the end of his performance of the death-haunted Berg violin concerto Christian Tetzlaff took a few steps back to stand closer to the violins and violas, his tone gradually weakening, enfolding itself into the cradle of Bach’s consolatory cantata, Es ist genug. It capped a remarkable yet unshowy performance by the German violinist, playing with the utmost delicacy, his silky legato offering the merest glimmer of Viennese glitter. The orchestra, especially the woodwind, flickered poignantly alongside.

The Times
17 August 2017