THE MEYERHOFF Symphony Hall served up several treats last night. Get yourself there by 8:15 p.m. tonight if you'd like to hear piano or drum dramatics and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in sharp form.
Sheer piano excitement the old-fashioned way came in the firm fingers of the Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire playing Robert Schumann's Romantic "Piano Concerto in A Minor" (1846). Accompanying him, the BSO -- under James DePreist -- continued its winning ways with Schumann after producing a marvelous CD of his first and fourth symphonies this year.
DePreist led the BSO briskly through Carl Nielsen's "Symphony No. 5." Cchief percussionist, Christopher Williams, beat the snare drum in a thrilling sustained attack. Ex-percussionist DePreist insisted drummer Williams take his well-earned bows out front.