Edinburgh International Festival round-up

Nikolai Lugansky. Pic: Comp
Nikolai Lugansky. Pic: Comp
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LAST Friday the Chamber Orchestra of Europe appeared in the Usher Hall (* * * *). Yannick Nézet-Séguin directed with all the misguided energy of a flyweight boxer in training. Best came first.

Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen was given a deeply-felt reading. The Haydn Sinfonia Concertante was scrappy in effect, and the Eroica Symphony suffered from too small a string section.

The Russian National Orchestra’s programmes, like others given during the first week, were too short. On Monday evening (* * * *) the players were caught napping a time or two in the last movement of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, and there was some carelessly ragged ensemble at the start of Glazunov’s The Seasons. Tuesday’s outing

(* * * * * *) went much better on the whole. Pianist Lugansky’s (pictured) splendid version of the third concerto apart, it offered a rare opportunity to hear Scriabin’s odd but not unattractive 1st Symphony.