Let’s be honest, you know that you’re going to get a damn good performance whenever Simone Young is involved. Her conducting is emotive and detailed, and ideally suited for this evening’s music – modern and sharp in the first half, and full of subtle structural detail in the second half.

Simone Young Simone Young. Photo © Monika Rittershaus 

There was a viola focus in at least part of this concert with Bartók’s Viola Concerto, as well as composer and former Berlin Philharmonic violist Brett Dean’s new Notturno Inquieto. Dean’s Notturno Inquietois a new work, only premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic this time last year. Part of their series of short ‘tapas’ pieces, or pieces with a duration of approximately six minutes, this was designed as a farewell to the Berlin Phil’s conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The piece opens with a series of spikey fragments from the violas, developing into a back-and-forth with various sections of the orchestra (including subterranean rumbles from a piano). Sustained percussive chimes kept the atmosphere ethereal and suitably nocturnal, before shifting into a wind-and-brass attack over scurrying strings. My regular concert co-conspirator (not into classical much, as a rule)...

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