Peter Donohoe plays Tchaikovsky and Brahms Hong Kong Sinfonietta HK City Hall Concert Hall Reviewed: Apr 16 and 17 It seemed improbable that Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 could be delivered effectively with an upper string section of only 10 first and eight second violins: the bloom and boom did indeed remain beyond the players' reach, and the impressive woodwind blend the orchestra was sporting earlier this year also lacked some suavity. With British pianist Peter Donohoe as soloist, however, the performance revised the laws of probability. His formidable technique had everything following in its wake in a driven performance that inspired the orchestra as a whole under Yip Wing-sie's responsive direction. Arguably one of the more effective approaches for Schumann's symphonic works is one of laissez-faire: he let the players instinctively get on with it. This was generally the feel of Yip's reading of the Symphony No 2. The scherzo actually benefited from the small number of first violins, who achieved some cracking precision. It was largely the same for Saturday's programme of Brahms' Piano Concerto No 2 and Schumann's Symphony No 4, both evenings beginning with the first of Chan Hing-yan's three-movement work Hark the Phoenix Soaring High for sheng and orchestra, in which soloist Loo Sze-wang's technical authority and musical sensitivity dominated. Much of the orchestral scoring felt derivative, but Loo's role in Nocturne for the Awakening Insects was inventively conceived and expertly rendered.