This season, the Leeds International Concert Season seems to have a strong focus on Russian music. This Saturday the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra gave a performance in the Leeds Town Hall. The orchestra also used the "classical" player arrangement (similar to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic). But they had the basses on the right, behind the 2nd violins, celli in the center. There were less bass players, only 6 double basses. This allowed the melody to come through more clearly.
Overall, this orchestra played excellent. They paid attention to the conductor Yuri Simonov, who conducted with enthusiasm and energy. Excellent timing, the orchestra played like a solid sound body.
The works: The music of Kachaturian's Spartacus Suite is well known, although many listeners do not know the composer, which is very unfortunate. Very nice melodic flow and rhythmic patterns. Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.1 featured the soloist Charles Siem who played excellent. Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony was the concluding work, followed by two encores, as the audience was very excited about this fabulous concert.
Preceding this concert was a brief introduction to the composers and the works, given by Anastasia Belina who showed some clips from YouTube - a first for these pre-concert talks.