This performance of Beethoven's Eroica had some good qualities but lacked that extra something which makes for a really fine one.
The conductor, Tugan Sokhiev, is barely in his thirties and this symphony is not the work for whiz-kids. The problem may have been that Sokhiev was paying deference to "authentic" performance practice - brisk speeds and stiff phrasing - while not being entirely convinced by it, and so we had a rather unsatisfactory compromise.
There was a fairly large body of strings but single winds which, while not too problematic in the symphony, ruined Beethoven's Coriolan overture where Sokhiev failed to balance the orchestral forces so that the woodwind players might as well have been miming their parts for all that they were audible.
Sokhiev also bunched his first and second violins together on the left so that their antiphonal interplay in the cataclysmic central section of the funeral march went for nothing. The energetic rather than the spiritual properties of the music fared best. The scherzo was excellent, with a robust and earthy contribution from the horns, and the dance-inspired finale swung along powerfully. There's a lot more to the symphony than this, though.
As an admirer of violinist Sarah Chang, both in concert and on disc, I felt sadly deflated by her performance of the Brahms concerto. Normally a serene presence on stage, she fidgeted and fretted her way through the first movement, tearing off bits of stray hair from the bow and obviously not happy with her tuning.
Her playing swung from overly-aggressive attack to hushed winsomeness as if vainly searching for the musical truth she really wanted to express. A bad day at the office perhaps?