Vasily Petrenko used his baton like a piratical rapier to galvanise the London Philharmonic violins in their flourishes of derring-do at the start of Berlioz’ Overture Le Corsaire. And the brilliance was in the quicksilver contrasts, the lightness and wit of inflection which lent a piquancy to the panache of this great concert opener. … [Read More]
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra made quite a splash with their Tchaikovsky symphony series under Mariss Jansons back in the 1980s. The watchwords then were freshness and articulation, a re-establishment of Tchaikovsky’s innate classicism – and so it was again as Vasily Petrenko stepped out as the orchestra’s new Chief Conductor. The opening of Tchaikovsky’s First … [Read More]
Liadov crafted more than his fair share of curtain-raisers – but to what end? One might imagine The Enchanted Lake – an atmospheric and beautifully scored miniature – as the prelude to an opera or full-length ballet; there would be method and consequence in that. But as a piece in its own right its six … [Read More]
With the news that Vasily Petrenko had extended his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra “to eternity” (his words) the little bit of Russia that came to the soon to be refurbished Philharmonic Hall in his series “Petrenko, Stravinsky, and the Ballet Russes” seemed doubly apposite. And even if it was … [Read More]
It 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]
I’m not quite sure what Her Majesty would make of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 9th Symphony or more particularly of the fractured fanfare flourishes which greet her so rowdily and enthusiastically through its opening pages – but as one who has welcomed Mr. Bond 007 into her chambers we know her to be intrepid.
Davies’ … [Read More]
It must be hard comprehending death when you’ve barely begun living – but the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain has a corporate sixth sense about the subtext of music that never ceases to amaze. Their latest programme reflected on the impermanence of life through two works from the beginning and end of the last … [Read More]