St. Petersburg Philharmonic
In part, it's the orchestra. The St. Petersburg's strings can sear as well as soar, their woodwinds sing as individuals but blend as a chorus, their brass blow like a cool breeze and blast like a Molotov cocktail. In part, it's the conducting. Through supple tempos and expressive phrasing, Temirkanov keeps his eye on the long line and the final climax but never neglects details of color or articulation. Together, they are impossible to mistake for any other conductor and orchestra, and the chance to hear them should never be missed.
Appearing with them will be the young German violinist Julia Fischer. Hailed as not just an outstanding violinist but a superlative musician, Fischer will be performing Beethoven's wonderfully lyrical Violin Concerto. She played it last year with the Baltimore Symphony under Temirkanov - he was music director there from 2000 to 2006 - and the audience gave her what the Sun music critic called "the longest standing ovation I have witnessed." One can hardly wait.
[Review published November 2007]