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Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms with New York Philharmonic / New York Classical Review

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The New York Philharmonic's concert on Thursday featured a world premiere by Christopher Rouse, Thunderstuck, an hommage to Jay Ferguson's 1978 hit Thunder Island, Rouse says the work is meant to be "engaging and fun." It is both those things to some degree, though it is also completely out of left field, both in general and for Rouse specifically. Suave, punchy, and almost oppressively consonant, it sounds as though it could accompany a training montage in a boxing movie.  On the whole the symphony was clean, clear, and uncomplicated.

Lisa Batiashvili's then gave a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto after the intermission. The Georgian virtuosa gave a searing rendition of the same concerto two seasons ago at Carnegie Hall with the Staatskapelle Dresden, showing that hers was a signifincant interpretation of this thrice-familiar piece.  Thursday's performance was even more ferocious. Listening to Batiashvili, there is always a sense of security in her technique, a solid base on which to build an interpretation. That doesn't mean she necessarily "makes it sound easy"-nor should she, in a concerto with such a broad emotional spectrum as this one. READ THE FULL New York Classical Review CONCERT REVIEW.