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BSO and Beethoven / Boston Globe review

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On Tuesday night, world-renowned pianist and perennial Boston Symphony Orchestra guest star Emanuel Ax performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra led by music director Andris Nelsons, inhabiting the music with the wisdom and comfort that comes with years of experience. Playing from memory, he dialed up the intensity in the martial first movement's cadenza from a gentle sparkle to a dazzling gleam, attacking the keys with percussive vigor. Ax's confident pianissimos in the twilight-hued Adagio astounded in their serene power. Conductor and soloist took breathing room between figures as the movement wound down, a keen flute solo floating overhead. That deep peace launched into a strongly accented Rondo, with Ax unfurling zippy runs, easy trills, and mischievous grace notes. The second program repeats Feb. 18, 21 At Symphony Hall on Feb. 14 and 16.