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]
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]
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]
As sometimes happens in live performances a soloist’s encore might display a brilliance and precision that one might have felt lacking in the main event – or, in this case, events. Yefim Bronfman’s account of the Paganini-Liszt Étude No.2 in E-flat major was dazzling and alert and focused in ways that his back-to-back performances of … [Read More]
Valery Gergiev’s survey of the Tchaikovsky symphonies began here on a chilly January night with youthfully idealistic “Winter Daydreams” thrown into the sharpest relief against a disillusioned and angry Shostakovich whose own journey into the bleak mid-winter was by the time he penned his 2nd Violin Concerto very much a one-way ticket. Two revealing performances, … [Read More]