Dragon Double Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Cultural Centre Concert Hall Reviewed: Nov 12 This being the second time the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra has performed Webern's Passacaglia Op 1, it invited comparison with conductor David Zinman's nicely sculpted first effort with the orchestra last year when the three climaxes emerged rapturously from the balanced quieter ground. Edo de Waart's interpretation on Friday trod more of a middle ground: restrained at the peaks with less neatly defined detail linking them. The split personality of Beethoven's Symphony No 3 (mortally serious/flippantly fun) was realised to a degree: the respective light sprint and jolly japes of the third and fourth movements had enough character, while the second movement's funeral march went as fast as it could without losing decorum, securing a good deal of the dread but less of the catharsis. There was some beautiful sectional work from the woodwind and horns, but even that couldn't compensate for the reticent efforts to land the first movement's punches. The work's Eroica (heroic) subtitle reflects Beethoven's thrill at revolutionary Europe's replacement of aristocrats by artisans, this symphony replacing the musical norm with rude awakenings for the audience. But by omitting the repeat of the exposition, underplaying the rhythmic and dynamic defiances and falling shy of the one-in-a-bar urgency established at the opening, the result was more ancient regime than new world order. Brahms' Double Concerto brought together violinist Cho-liang Lin and cellist Wang Jian (below), fine soloists in their own right, who married tone and intention but weren't always as one with their intonation and phrasing. The Andante enjoyed a freedom of line missing from the outer movements; they slugged along amiably, but missed the rhapsodic fluency lavished on the encore, an arrangement of a passacaglia by Handel that was novel, fun and a bit rough around the edges.