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Concert review:, 11 October 2013

… this was a tour de force of colour, symphonic and pianistic. Grimaud’s range of tone, from the delicate, celestial points of light in the slow movement to the most violent, ferocious shouting of the finale and first movement found a sympathetic ear in (Hannu) Lintu, whose passion for the oft-maligned orchestration of Brahms shone through … A clear rapport between soloist and conductor extended to a shared vision of the youthful, hoch-Romantic world of this concerto; the Philharmonia responded impeccably to every emotional twist and turn, strings in the slow movement in particular achingly gorgeous.

Hannu Lintu and Hélène Grimaud open the Philharmonia's Brahms cycleIt is often said of British orchestras that their sound lacks the visceral, characterful edge of their colleagues on the continent. Lost underneath the technical perfection necessitated by a packed concert schedule are, we are told, commitment and passion for the music, as well as idiosyncrasies; where one can apparently tell Vienna from Berlin in a heartbeat, the LSO and LPO may as well be interchangeable.