Tannhäuser at the start of this concert eased the audience into the Germanic sound world for the rest of this evening. It was well played, perhaps with a touch too much stiffness for such a luscious piece. Andreas Ottensamer the delivered some rich tones and fine clarinet solo playing in Weber's Clarinet Concerto No 1. This was followed by Alice Mary Smith's Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra - a bijou work well worth listening for. Though I felt the Weber and Smith were a little under-rehearsed: the ensemble could be tighter and less timid. Brahms 2, on the other hand, was well rehearsed. Under Jurowski's firm grip, the orchestra played with intensity, expansiveness and above all it sounded Germanic. How this related to the programme cover page "Isle of Noises", I don't know. But it was an enjoyable evening all the same.
I was lucky to have gotten a ticket to see Bernard Haitink conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner 7th Symphony. No doubt it is a work that Haitink knows well - he did it without score. The movements were broad, had shape, and above all nuanced rather than bombastic. His mildmannered gestures were in starck contract to Andris Nelsons's rendition of Bruckner 8 (earlier in the season). It was a real treat to see this maestro still deliveirng the musical umph at 90. A memorable concert that was.