At Heinz Hall recently, we saw the PSO's "A Night on Bald Mountain," Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Stunning. Explosive. Brilliant. Never heard the PSO play better or as one instrument. It was as if I was listening to "A Night On Bald Mountain" for the first time.
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev was grandly lyrical with unbelievable chops in the Rach 2 Piano Concerto. And when Mr. Matsuev encored with an Oscar Peterson-like brilliance on the Juan Tizol jazz standard, "Caravan," the packed house roared and the sitting orchestra members, stunned, responded in kind.
Beethoven's 7th was relentless and driving, but crisp and specific and kept up with Maestro Manfred Honeck's intense, joyous interpretation. Before the concert, the excellent Three Rivers Youth ensemble played in the foyer, then stayed for the main concert. The mix of the young and the usual senior Sunday crowd made for a rare electricity in the house. I'm sure their current reached the orchestra and Mr. Honeck. A concert to remember.