Four stars

When she had finished playing, with immaculate phrasing, Mozart’s own cadenza at the end of the first movement of his last Piano Concerto, No 27 in B flat, South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son leant back on the stool, stretched out her legs and crossed her Louboutin stiletto-shod feet at the ankles.

Such small eccentricities in her deportment at the piano were in contrast to the technical precision and finesse of her fingers on the keyboard. Her hands hovered over for a moment in anticipation of each entry in the score, and, however elegantly dressed, she looked less than completely comfortable when not actually playing.

The heart of the concerto is the simple melody of the slow movement, and the soloist, making her debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, was a model of eloquent restraint in its song-like melancholy. There was never any doubt about her ability to produce fireworks when required, but she proved it with her encore of Moritz Moszkowski’s flashy showpiece Étincelles (Sparks).

It was an altogether larger group of musicians that appeared on the platform to play Dvorak’s Symphony No 7 under regular guest conductor Andrew Manze. It is not so many years ago that such a work would have been thought beyond the SCO’s remit, but there are now few symphonic masterpieces that it would be surprising to see in the orchestra’s season.

The climax of the opening movement hinted strongly at the New World symphony to come, while the second movement concluded with a delicious wind ensemble before its dying fall on the strings.

If Manze is always an expansive conductor, he was positively balletic in the work that opened the programme and was the revelation of the evening for many. Grazyna Bacewicz was the leader of the Polish Radio Orchestra and a very significant composer in her homeland in the middle of the last century, yet her work is rarely heard now. Although her pragmatism in adapting to the changing politics of the time may have a bearing on that, it is hard to escape the conclusion that her gender may also be significant.

Beyond argument, her 1948 Concerto for String Orchestra is a glorious work, attention-grabbing from its propulsive start and with colourful use of solo voices from the front desks – particularly Philip Higham’s cello – as it develops. Culminating in a finale every bit as “Vivo” as it is named, Manze sculpted the piece with large gestures, making a persuasive case for it as a real lost gem.