Home Musical score CBSO/Gražinytė-Tyla Review – Bruckner assured and Tchaikovsky’s arrest marks the end of a Birmingham era | Classical music

CBSO/Gražinytė-Tyla Review – Bruckner assured and Tchaikovsky’s arrest marks the end of a Birmingham era | Classical music

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Aat the end of this season Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla steps down as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Although her appearances this week were by no means a farewell – she and the orchestra are set to tour central Europe together, and next season she will spend four weeks with them as principal guest conductor. – they were his last at Symphony Hall in the position it has held since 2016. While this pairing has produced a lot of great things, it may not have been quite the success expected when appointing Gražinytė-Tyla, and it feels like Birmingham audiences haven’t had a chance to appreciate the full extent of his abilities.

One of the many composers she has explored little with the CBSO is Bruckner, and judging by her performance of the Sixth Symphony in this concert, it is a real disappointment. If the Sixth – compact, lively, direct – is the work that could persuade even Bruckner agnostics of the virtues of his music, then surely this interpretation should have been the one to hear. There was nothing presumptuous or overbearing about Gražinytė-Tyla’s approach: played with great poise and richness of tone by the CBSO, everything moved with an ease and lightness, downplaying the ferocity of the first movement’s clashes. , making the great Adagio funeral march less solemn, more consoling than usual, and even giving the finale a coherence that it sometimes lacks.

This program was the one scheduled for March 2020, and, as then, the Bruckner was preceded by Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Gabriela Montero as a soloist. While his approach to such a familiar work could never be described as subtly nuanced, it was undoubtedly dynamic and arresting, and after that Montero offered an improvisation on a theme from Ennio Morricone’s score Cinema Paradiso, as suggested by a member of the public. The result sounded more like a Busoni transcription of Bach, but just like an encore.