Simone Lamsma makes a welcome return to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as soloist in the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius. A towering work of the violin repertoire, the Sibelius Violin Concerto is symphonic through and through, with soloist and orchestra engaged in a series of profound, searching and stirring exchanges. While it avoids ostentatious effects, the concerto is nonetheless tremendously virtuosic and requires a soloist of tenacity, insight and depth. A soloist of Simone Lamsma’s calibre, in other words.
The concert is bookended by two works by Brahms: the rollicking Academic Festival Overture – where Brahms has a lot of fun with student drinking songs – and the idyllic Symphony No 2, generally held to be the sunniest of the composer’s four symphonies. On the podium is dynamic young conductor Alexander Shelley.