Czech composer Dvorák’s Fifth Symphony has languished among his repertoire in favor of his popular last symphonies (7-9). Its first and only prior CSO performance was in 1981. König, a highly articulate but no-nonsense conductor with a genial disposition, made it bloom in the CSO’s hands. The first movement radiated Bohemian charm, opening with a perky fanfare-like theme by the clarinets. The more somber Andante was followed by a delightfully playful scherzo movement and a dramatic finale, which grew sunny at the end, sealing the work with optimism. The CSO played its very best for König, with a lush, full-bodied string sound and bright, laser-like performances by the winds, making his debut one of the most notable of this (or any) CSO season.
Read the full review here: Cincinnati Enquirer Review
Christoph König conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a programme of Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2, Mussorgsky Scherzo in B-flat Major (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Premiere, and Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring the fabulously gifted 2010 Chopin Competition winner Yulianna Avdeeva. More info .