Tour Concert / Philharmonia Orchestra
"... I was impressed by conductor Domingo Hindoyan’s attention to the details of the score, and his confident gestures were expressive. A product of the now legendary El Sistema project in Venezuela, Hindoyan sought to emphasise the melodic qualities of the overture, and as the players settled we enjoyed some broad-breathed phrasing from the woodwind in particular. The conductor increasingly stirred up a wind-swept energy, culminating in the violin sections’ perfectly co-ordinated surge through a rising diminished seventh arpeggio, triggering an explosive coda which had real sonic lustre.
Hindoyan’s performance was similarly self-assured when the Philharmonia accompanied violinist Michael Barenboim in a pristine performance of Prokofiev’s first violin concerto of 1917. If conductor and soloist seemed surprisingly relaxed, then their regular appearances together with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – of which Hindoyan has been a standing member since 2006, and Barenboim Concertmaster since 2003 – probably helped.
Hindoyan was determined to highlight the work’s orchestral delicacies, leaving Barenboim to reveal the virtuosity of its technical acrobatics – which he did with nonchalant effortlessness and calm focus ...
This short concerto – it’s just over twenty minutes in length – relies for its full expressiveness on a sparking orchestral colour palette and Hindoyan coaxed finely crafted, vivid individual lines and timbres from the Philharmonia. He was unwaveringly sensitive to his soloist, who was never forced to push his sound.
The grand dramatic trajectory of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony seemed to suit Hindoyan’s temperament. This was an interpretation of seriousness, urgency and sweeping vision, especially in the first three movements, which captured the symphonic majesty of the work. The con Brio which Beethoven appends to the opening movement’s Allegro indication was intently observed: Hindoyan set off at quite a lick, scarcely observing the fermata of the symphony-defining fate motif. The strings’ counterpoint was crisp and clean, the fast tempo inducing a lightness that was welcome; there was not a single overlooked detail ...
The Scherzo was full of character – notable were the striking rhythmic blasts from the horns, and the dark rumblings in the Trio from the cellos and basses. The transition to the final movement was skilfully negotiated – both technically and expressively. Subdued fragments of the Scherzo’s main theme were darkened by the timpani’s portentous pulsing; then the violins scaled their arpeggio arrived at a taut tremolando which Hindoyan released in a blaze of C major brilliance.
Throughout this performance, conductor and orchestra seemed a comfortable fit for each other. Hindoyan had something fresh to say about Beethoven’s symphony – one of the most familiar compositions in classical music – and the Philharmonia were pleased to have a well-known journey refreshed by unaccustomed vistas and by-ways. The large Canterbury audience were evidently greatly appreciative."
-Seen and Heard International