Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, performed by Konstantin Shamray, was clearly the audience’s favourite work on the program in this concert by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and conductor Eivind Aadland. The work is well suited to Shamray’s strengths as a musician, with plenty of pyrotechnics, dramatic gestures, and dense chordal passages. He also showed much sensitivity in the cadenza in the first movement, with exquisite balance and phrasing in the upper registers of the piano, but without too much overwrought rubato. The second movement is one of the most lyrical movements in the piano concerto repertoire. There occasionally seemed to be some tension between the interpretation of the orchestra and conductor, and that of the soloist in this performance, but there was some lovely, nuanced playing from the woodwinds, and mellifluous sonorities from the strings. The final movement was performed with a great deal of gusto, but both orchestra and soloist seemed to be taking the movement a little too seriously, and perhaps a little more levity and playfulness could have been injected into the lighter moments.

Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra  provided an excellent contrast to the Tchaikovsky. This work is stylistically quite different to most of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s core Master...