The Colorado Symphony Orchestra billed tonight's concert as the "Hannu Linto Debut" for the Finnish conductor. However, the show was completely stolen by guest violinist Vadim Gluzman, who played the Tchaikovsky with great relish that was contagious to the audience and the conductor.
The first movement was so good that he got a (partial) standing ovation between movements. If he had not signaled people to sit down, there may never have been a second movement. The slow movement was not as memorable, but he played the third movement faster than anyone I have ever heard before, and he played it flawlessly. If there were any criticism, it's that he did not look at the conductor enough to stay in tempo with the orchestra.
The evening opened with a nice read of Liszt's Les Preludes, a nice feature for the orchestra. The conductor Linto gave a very sensitive reading, although he is a bit overly mannered. There are rumors the CSO is thinking of hiring him, I hope not.
The evening closed with Sibelius Symphony #1. Not his best work, it's clearly influenced by Tchaikovsky, which may be why they put it on the program with the violin concerto. Alas it was merely a letdown after the fantastic soloist.
The evening is quite memorable, and I keep thinking how lucky we are to hear such great soloists here on a regular basis.