For a pair of concerts that precede Valentine's Day, most of the music was rather a reflection of broken hearts instead of love and happiness. And all the music was Russian - although there wasn't a link between the nationality and the somberness of the music! Daniel Boico was back (for this week only unfortunately) as the conductor, and, once again he brought great energy to the performance.
The concert did start off brightly - Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. It's a great piece - especially the solos featuring the oboe and the clarinet. It was a great start to the concert. The concerto, featured German cellist, Peter Bruns, playing Shostakovich's 2nd Cello Concerto. The cello, by default is quite a somber instrument, and the piece itself, was quite somber - even when there was some fanfare or brightness - it seemed to be quickly extinguished.
The final piece, was Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony - Pathetique.If there is one piece of music that traces the journey from happiness to sadness and despair - this is probably the best candidate. It even has a great flourish that promises happily ever after, at the end of the 3rd movement; to be brought crushingly down to despair in the final movement.
It was not the best Valentine's Day concert (but then again, it wasn't advertised as such) - but it was still a great concert with superb performances all round.