Review: Scottish Chamber Orchestra

 Beethoven ‘Emperor’ Concerto played by Elisabeth Leonskaja

By: Mamie Kirk


There is no denying that the conductor of an orchestra is essential to ensure players are keeping in time and producing a cohesive performance. Clemens Schuldt however went above and beyond what might be required. Schuldt delivered the most exceptional performance that left me captivated and engaged to the very end.

During the first half of the concert I was amazed at the beautiful sound produced, and the exciting dynamic contrasts created by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This was followed by a brief interval before commencing the second half.

The description of the second half of the concert described pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja as ‘One of the great Beethovenians’ and ‘legendary’, but those descriptions don’t even begin to cover how exceptional Leonskaja was. I feel honoured to have been able to hear Leonskaja play, given her outstanding reputation as a pianist with critics describing her as having something ‘precious and rare’. Each time she’d come in during Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’, she lit up the room and I couldn’t help but watch her in amazement.

The only issue with the concert was that due to the overwhelming popularity of it, the venue didn’t seem to cope well with the large mass of people at both the beginning of the concert and the interval, with people pushing past each other, and being left unable to move. Apart from this small problem, the concert was truly extraordinary. The orchestra was phenomenal, and I am so pleased to have been exposed to such incredible talent.

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