Even the program book sounded a trifle apologetic for this past weekend’s program at Severance Hall, an unabashedly Romantic double bill of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s familiar Symphony No. 2. “Both works have been belittled by some who want something more from music,” the notes read, justifying the choices by adding, “For Thanksgiving weekend, such traditional fare is as satisfying as a good meal with friends and family.”
There was no disagreement from the audience, which packed the hall nearly full. And even this critic, not a fan of the Romantic repertoire, found plenty to chew on in the way Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden and Canadian pianist Louis Lortie handled the pieces.