Review: Oslo Philharmonic @ Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Simon Trpčeski, the piano soloist from Skopje in Macedonia, made a welcome return to the Bridgewater Hall on Monday night, playing Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto with the Oslo Philharmonic.
His playing was exemplary – no surprise, as we heard him play the first Rachmaninov here with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in 2010, and he was a ‘one to watch’ visitor to the Hallé shortly afterwards – but his most beautiful gesture came after the concerto had finished.
Instead of a conventional show-off solo encore, he played accompanist to the orchestra’s peerless principal cellist, Louisa Tuck, in Rachmaninov’s lovely Vocalise (an In Memoriam, for him, to a close relative). There are few international pianists who would do that.
The concerto’s realization was, I think, a joint product of his ability and the Russian instincts and training of the Oslo Philharmonic’s chief conductor, Vasily Petrenko (also the man in charge of a certain orchestra down the road in Liverpool).
It came up fresh and bright, with warm and velvety string tone and seriously impressive brass playing. The famous second movement (forever linked with Carnforth railway station for those who’ve seen the film, Brief Encounter) was eloquent in its melancholy, with song-like contributions from the wind and string players and articulation that was disciplined and expressive at the same time….–bridgewater-11006374