Bachtrack: Royal Scottish National Orchestra Review
Royal Scottish National Orchestra Review
By Simon Thompson
What impressed me most about this performance [of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto] is that both conductor and, especially, the young soloist were keen to point up the lighter, lyrical aspects of the concerto rather than the scene-stealing climaxes. Yekwon Sunwoo has just won the Van Cliburn competition, so he carries a lot of potential with him and, based on his performance tonight, I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot of him in future. The undulating opening was gentle, almost understated, and that set the tone for a first movement in which Sunwoo was unafraid of going for a genuine pianissimo, not least in the dreamy second subject. This is, after all, a work of light and shade: fireworks came later, most notably at the climax of the development and the outer edges of the finale, but they were more effective because the groundwork had been laid for them so successfully. Throughout, his playing was clean, architectural and brilliantly controlled, and the orchestra responded with lovely tone that was not unlike Shostakovich in its lower strings, but seemed to be channelling the Romanticism of Tchaikovsky in the second movement.