MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Thomas Dausgaard Is Back

Even with the audience at Benaroya Hall well below capacity, the atmosphere on Thursday night was electric for the long-awaited return of music director Thomas Dausgaard to the Seattle Symphony podium. The menu was meat and potatoes — a Beethoven appetizer (Overture to Egmont) and Brahms’s First, both given high-energy, taut, muscular accounts. Curiously, the Brahms even turned out to contain some Beethovenian echoes beyond the usual ones.

In between came a virtuoso showcase in the form of Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto in G minor. The Italian pianist Alessio Bax was the sparkling soloist, balancing the piece’s flamboyant, impish, and lyrically touching dimensions with dazzling articulation and style.

I’ll be reviewing this and nest week’s concerts in a forthcoming piece discussing Dausgaard’s reunion with the SSO musicians. In the meantime, tonight’s repeat of the program is recommended. The sheer joy and commitment they radiate in making music together again are irresistible.

Filed under: Brahms, Seattle Symphony, Thomas Dausgaard

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