Violin and music

Violin and music

November 2011

Liadov/Tchaikovsky/Rihm/Shostakovich - Valery Gergiev/Anne-Sophie Mutter

Wed 30 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Independent, 1 Dec 2011
Weighty and virtuosic, the LSO excelled in matters momentous and Gergiev could hardly have made more of one of the great voltes-faces in 20 century music as Shostakovich sends in the clowns and a cohort or two of the Red Army band. He always did have the last laugh.
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The Times, 1 Dec 2011
Needle-sharp, the LSO easily kept pace with its chameleon changes, from bloodied brass and perky winds to those desolate flutes, memorably lost in the Arctic wastes.
Read full review (subscription required), 2 Dec 2011
... the LSO was here clearly at its very peak, playing with trademark combination of raw power, focussed aggression – and finesse.
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Gubaidulina/Shostakovich - Valery Gergiev/Anne-Sophie Mutter

Sun 27 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Guardian, 29 Nov 2011
There was a wonderful sense of cumulative tension throughout, which the breezy allegro of the finale did little to ease. The playing was faultless, and Gergiev again reminded us that when he is on form as a Shostakovich interpreter, he is matched by few.
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The Arts Desk, 28 Nov 2011
... every solo brought its fine-etched personality, culminating in the personal pleas of Nora Cismondi's oboe and Rachel Gough's bassoon, both superlative, before the clouds lift for what in this case was an unequivocally springy final romp.
Read full review, 28 Nov 2011
Anne-Sophie Mutter, the work's dedicatee, gave a stunning account. She had the full measure of its many and varied textures, and was able to respond in kind to the orchestra's occasional hectoring or seduction...The performance made for an overwhelming experience.
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Prokofiev/Gubaidulina/Tchaikovsky - Valery Gergiev/Geir Draugsvoll

Thu 24 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Times, 28 Nov 2011
the LSO’s superb players knew exactly what to do, facing the fate motif with fiery strength, neatly swelling and tapering phrases in the waltz, generally keeping the symphony’s neurotic display just this side of the bearable.
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Daily Telegraph, 25 Nov 2011
The Norwegian soloist Geir Draugsvoll clearly relished the bayan’s strange hoarse wheeziness, the way it can make a huge, shuddering sound emerge suddenly from nothing, or (as at the very beginning of the piece) a procession of deep, reedy chords float in stillness like an organ. To hear those set against a delicate tracery of upward swoops on violins and marimba was magical indeed.
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Seen and Heard, 29 Nov 2011
Tonight’s performance captured the dialectical accompanying element between the reduced string orchestra and the percussion section to perfection, with every glissando and diatonic inflection sounding. But, as implied, it was really the soloist Geir Draugsvoll with his extraordinary instrument, who stole the show!
Read full review, 25 Nov 2011
Geir Draugsvoll’s playing never dipped in concentration and the strange physicality of his instrument (the writhing of the expansions and contractions of the ‘squeeze box’) only added to the disarming nature of the work.
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Bartok/Nielsen/Zemlinsky - Xian Zhang/Gareth Davies

Wed 9 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Guardian, 10 Nov 2011
Just occasionally, Zhang pushed the climaxes too hard – the LSO never needs encouragement to raise the Barbican roof – but her performance had such a sense of shape that it didn't matter.
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Evening Standard, 10 Nov 2011
the LSO's own Gareth Davies carried the day, dispatching the solo part with silver-tongued eloquence.
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The Times, 10 Nov 2011
[The concert] showcased exactly what a team of virtuosos sit among the London Symphony Orchestra’s ranks.
Read full review (subscription required), 11 Nov 2011
All in all, Zhang and the LSO gave a performance which brought out the many colours and textures of a varied programme, and in the process brought to life a host of interesting characters.
Read full review, 11 Nov 2011
The LSO played with real passion, producing opulent tone and a richness of texture which fully brought out the colours of Zemlinsky's scoring.
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The Arts Desk, 10 Nov 2011
Zhang got real magic from divided muted-string reveries as well as love-chemistry between maiden and prince… thanks to the LSO and Zhang, a conductor who clearly does the orchestra good, for taking the plunge.
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Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc - Marin Alsop et al

Sun 6 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Times, 9 Nov 2011
The solo violin’s nervous double-stopping nicely mirrored Joan’s mental torment; rocking intervals and plaintive phrases usefully warmed her path toward immolation.
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Financial Times, 8 Nov 2011
At this Barbican showing, Einhorn’s music felt an unwanted intruder, like a noisy late arrival at the cinema when the main feature has already started.
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Honegger Joan of Arc at the Stake - Marin Alsop et al

Fri 4 Nov 2011, Barbican

The Times, 7 Nov 2011
By keeping a very level head, Alsop steered Honegger’s oratorio through its time-travelling course (Joan’s life is told in reverse, though the unashamedly sentimental climax returns us to her martyrdom) without reigning in the LSO’s usual exuberance.
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The Guardian, 6 Nov 2011
In the trial scene, which Honegger sets as a grotesque scherzo, Paul Nilon's taut tenor caught the right note of venomous hysteria as Joan's chief tormentor, Porcus (alias Bishop Cauchon).
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Arts Desk, 5 Nov 2011
This was as fine an outing as Honegger's tawdry oratorio would ever get.
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Marin Alsop, a great champion of the work, conducted with huge theatrical flair, laying out the detail of its visionary progress with incredible affection
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BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert - Nicholas Angelich

Thu 3 Nov 2011, LSO St Luke's, 4 Nov 2011
The increasing elaboration of the left-hand accompaniment to the slow movement’s main theme was cleverly layered in music that showed-off Angelich’s fluid, lyrical style...
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Lunchtime concerts

Lunchtime concerts

BBC Radio 3 presents weekly concerts on Thursday lunchtimes at LSO St Luke's.


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