Musical treat for Brahms fans
The young Dublin pianist Finghin Collins made his London Proms debut last year with the Ulster Orchestra, and this fine partnership continued in the Ulster Hall on Friday night.
This time they combined in Brahms' massive Piano Concerto No 2 which again demonstrated the close rapport between the pianist and the orchestra, under the direction of its Principal Conductor Kenneth Montgomery.
Finghin Collins was equal to the technical and emotional demands of the differing moods of this concerto, with its power and sensitivity delicately balanced throughout. The concerto was scheduled between Beethoven's delightful Prometheus Overture and Schumann's Symphony No 2.
Given the trauma of the composer's personal life, this warm, sunny symphony, too often underrated, was a triumph of creativity over adversity.
Kenneth Montgomery guided the orchestra through a very brisk reading of a symphony, at the centre of which is a poignancy so evocatively portrayed in the hauntingly sad slow movement This was an evening where the soloist, the orchestra and also the conductor were on top of their form.
Alf McCreary, Belfast Telegraph, 27/02/2010