REVIEWS | Seen and Heard International

When in Rome, CBSO, at Symphony Hall.
Mendelssohn had many connections with Birmingham, so it was good to hear his Italian Symphony in this context. Rustioni’s eager ardour was well in evidence with the vibrant first movement starting as if someone had slammed a plug into an already live electricity socket. The orchestra matched this faultlessly with a racing pulse. Rustioni physically has something of Muti about him, and it is not just the centre-parting. You do not find the febrile glowing extremes of the elder conductor but there is certainly an unrestrained emotional engagement there. The Andante was briskly taken, while Rustioni made much of the next movement’s Mozartean ways. The fruitily burred Saltarello was unleashed with hardly a pause between movements. There were repeated calls to the podium and the ovation resounded in the great space that is Symphony Hall.
Seen and Heard International, Rob Barnett