[…] The absolute highlight of the evening, however, came before the intermission: Caterina Grewe’s performance of what may be called Rachmaninoff’s fifth piano concerto. […] Grewe, who was the soloist at Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle twice before – with Liszt’s first and Grieg’s only piano concerto – mastered the difficulties with apparent ease. She had the audience spellbound from the get-go with her complex understanding of this work: at once passionate and light, intense and playful, ferocious and gentle, her interpretation lacked even a touch of the vulgarity the work can have in some performances. Nothing was flashy, everything was substance (to which also the encore, two selections from Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives, attested). The cantilena of the slow “movement” was introverted, played with deep emotion. At times the orchestra was a tad too loud for this subtle reading of the work, but the precise, controlled exuberance of Grewe’s performance was so formidable, the audience was swept away.

Thomas K Thornton