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London Symphony Orchestra, Jansen, Pappano, Barbican Hall

There were, it seemed, enough trumpets to serve Gabriel throughout eternity – and, as fanfares go, this one was stretching a point and then some. LSO On Track had commissioned it from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and true to the spirit of this enterprise seeking to field young musicians of mixed abilities alongside players from … [Read More]

Posted on 31/01/2014
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

London Symphony Orchestra, Uchida, Ticciati, Barbican Hall (Review)

From Mozart’s pen to Mitsuko Uchida’s fingers and one last time for Sir Colin Davis – Mozart’s wistful Rondo in A minor. If ever music crossed thresholds this not so little Rondo with its lilting Siciliana-like melody does. Eternity seems to be within its grasp as its sorrowful theme acquires ever more entrancing ornamentation … [Read More]

Posted on 20/09/2013
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London Symphony Orchestra, Upshaw, Adams, Barbican Hall (Review)

You learn a lot about a composer from the pieces they revere – and for John Adams what might have seemed like an unlikely opening gambit to kick-start this short stack of three concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra – Bartok’s Dance Suite – began to make more sense as the rest of the evening … [Read More]

Posted on 18/01/2013
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London Symphony Orchestra, Gardiner, Barbican Hall (Review)

Any young composer who finds himself at the opposite end of a programme from Walton’s First Symphony had better be good. Edward Nesbit – whose piece Parallels was commissioned by the LSO Panufnik Young Composer’s Scheme – is certainly that. Indeed the aggressive brass punctuations and nerve-wracking silences that helped point up the symmetry of … [Read More]

Posted on 30/11/2012
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London Symphony Orchestra, Petrenko, Barbican Hall (Review)

LSOIt should have been Sir Colin Davis, of course (and the news filtering through on Sir Colin is sadly not encouraging), but the very first chord of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto was a startling demonstration of what makes the interpretative business of music so endlessly fascinating. The character of that first chord under Vasily Petrenko could … [Read More]

Posted on 19/10/2012
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London Symphony Orchestra, Kavakos, Gergiev, Barbican Hall

One bar into this timely celebration of his work and the composer’s identity could not be in doubt. The voice is unmistakable, of course, but so too a sense of the era in which he lived and worked. And even the idea of programming this opening concert in reverse chronology said something about how Igor … [Read More]

Posted on 12/05/2012
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London Symphony Orchestra, Pappano, Barbican Hall

It was almost as if the London Symphony Orchestra had enjoyed advance notice of Antonio Pappano’s well-deserved Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list. The all-English programme made for a stylish celebration, Sir Antonio (a slight incongruity there) conducting Elgar’s First Symphony with fabulous authority, the London Symphony Orchestra piling on the opulence like a … [Read More]

Posted on 11/01/2012
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London Symphony Orchestra, Mutter, Gergiev, Barbican Hall

For anyone who’s ever thought that the term Vorsprung durch Technik might be better applied to the superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter than a certain brand of automobile her hair-raising account of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra will have given pause. The spirit was so wild and the risks so … [Read More]

Posted on 01/12/2011
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Prom 52: London Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall

Two Prokofiev symphonies for the price of one – the First and Fifth, the little and large of the canon – and surprisingly it was the bantam weight First that yielded Valery Gergiev’s biggest surprises and tiniest revelations. Rarely has it sounded so tantalisingly Haydnesque.

By no stretch of the imagination could you have described … [Read More]

Posted on 24/08/2011
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London Symphony Orchestra, Pires, Haitink, Barbican Hall

Her appearances in this country are rare enough as it is so to discover that Maria Joao Pires was to be a late substitute (for the indisposed Murray Perahia) was precious consolation indeed. She played Mozart’s last and in some ways sparest Piano Concerto – No.27 in B-flat minor – with the kind of profound … [Read More]

Posted on 15/06/2011
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