To the Beaux Arts to see Mariss Jansons conduct the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest playing Wagner (Tannäuser overture and two extracts from Siegfried) and Shostakovitch’s 10th symphony (phew!). The Salle Henri Le Boeuf was full to the rafters and the Latvian contingent was out in proud force. Shostakovitch after Wagner is a bit like a cassoulet after a tartiflette (don’t get me wrong – I adore them both), so the conductor and his audience had a self-imposed challenge on their hands. Jansons did not disappoint. He puts a lot into his conducting, at times seeming almost to want to lift the orchestra physically through the force of the emotions he wants them to convey. The encore, the Adagio from Katchaturian’s Spartacus, was beautifully done and was perfectly suited to his conducting style. He was once quoted as saying “I want that every [one] of my concerts should be [an] event, for me, for [the] orchestra and [for the] public.” He succeeded in spades tonight. As we were leaving we bumped into a Latvian colleague who told us that we had just listened to the best conductor conducting the best orchestra. She may well have been right!