Thursday night's almost capacity audience for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's Beethoven concert, The Revolutionary, proves that the firebrands and rebels of yesterday can become the box office heroes of the future.
Yet, much of the success of the APO's current Beethoven series lies with music director Giordano Bellincampi. The charismatic maestro has already swept us away with the grandeur of the Eroica, the youthful zest of the First Symphony and the unassuming grace and good humour of the Fourth.
Tonight, his individual touch was there from the opening bars of the Pastoral Symphony, its immaculately nuanced lines followed, within seconds, by a rustic, rollicking tutti.
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Sonorous strings set the scene for the second movement's brook, with some particularly liquid clarinet ripplings.
The rumbustious joy of peasant merrymaking was cut short by a musical storm that Bellincampi upgraded to hurricane status. In fact, it was so tumultuous that the ensuing finale basked in the most golden of glows.
Some of the storm's fury must have lingered around during interval, for it might well have fuelled the whiplash chords opening the Seventh Symphony. Here, Bellincampi set off by moulding what seemed like an entire symphonic poem from Beethoven's poco sostenuto introduction.
This was the perfect prelude to a galvanising Vivace, in which the players clearly enjoyed unleashing the almost primal power that is the hallmark of this composer.
As usual, Bellincampi thrived on the dramatic contrasts of this score, especially in the Allegretto, both in the contrapuntal weave of its main theme and the greater expansiveness brought on by a move to a major key.
Hollywood wit and pianist Oscar Levant once explained to a traffic officer that his speeding was occasioned by listening to this symphony's finale.
Tonight, Bellincampi set our adrenalin pulsing from the roaring scherzo of the third movement, and the finale was a veritable whirlwind, its compulsive energy bringing forth bursts of applause before its final chord had died away.