Reviews 3 – US tour December 2011

December 19, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra spent last week touring in the US, performing in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and at New York’s Carnegie Hall under conductor Vladimir Jurowski with soloists Janine Jansen and Emanuel Ax.

9 December 2011, NJPAC Prudential Hall, Newark – Vladimir Jurowski / Emanuel Ax (Beethoven, Brahms)

The orchestra responded ardently [in the Beethoven] and as though in the role of cavalry, with a sense of adventure and ruggedness. They imparted radiant tone to the poignantly played second movement, which maintained a gratifying sense of forward motion. The piece was not without its bumps—the third movement in particular hastily tumbled forward—but it was genuinely fun to hear.
Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger, 13 December 2011:

See previous reviews from the tour here and here

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More reviews from US tour December 2011

December 12, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra spent last week touring in the US, performing in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and at New York’s Carnegie Hall under conductor Vladimir Jurowski with soloists Janine Jansen and Emanuel Ax.

7 December 2011, Carnegie Hall, New York – Vladimir Jurowski / Janine Jansen (Pintcher, Mozart, Brahms):
‘The orchestra brought dusky, rich and full-bodied sound to a spacious, majestic account of the piece [Brahms 4] … The orchestra played brilliantly.’
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

‘Jurowski managed his resources, and the symphony’s pacing, masterfully and to tremendous effect … The audience ate it up in big gulping spoonfuls, standing and creating a commotion for several extended bows.’
Brad Hill, Huffington Post

8 December 2011, Carnegie Hall, New York – Vladimir Jurowski / Emanuel Ax (Beethoven, Tchaikovsky):
‘Mr. Jurowski obviously is a great fan of the rarely-played piece [Manfred Symphony]. He took the orchestra through its paces, never exaggerating or letting down the guard even in some of the filling … Mr. Jurowski always knows what he is doing.’
Harry Rolnick, Concertonet.com

‘Under Mr. Jurowski’s baton, the LPO gathered itself for the leap into the finale. Again, Mr. Ax proved his mastery of every technical challenge thrown at the soloist. This was a technical, yet thrilling performance of Beethoven’s mightiest concerto.’
Paul Pelkonen, Superconductor blog

See previous reviews from the tour

lpo.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @LPOrchestra


Reviews from US tour December 2011 – Vladimir Jurowski, Janine Jansen, Emanuel Ax

December 9, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has spent the last week touring in the US, performing in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; and at New York’s Carnegie Hall under conductor Vladimir Jurowski with soloists Janine Jansen and Emanuel Ax.

‘It’s all magnificent, and so were the LPO players, making the most of [Manfred’s] colors and the hero’s pain and passion. Jurowski raised them, soloist by soloist, section by section (brass and winds justly first), for our applause. Jurowski’s pacing within the movements was superb; but the work’s grand architecture was as satisfying as the rooms he created.’
Susan Isaacs Nisbett, annarbor.com, 7 December 2011

‘The magnet was the LPO itself. The strings in the Brahms symphony glowed from beginning to end. The brass (especially the horns in the second movement) made one want to tally-ho into a fox-hunt. The winds could have been tootled by Raphael cherubs … Mr. Jurowski is certainly a great conductor, and the LPO is perhaps the most beautiful orchestra in the world.’
Harry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com, 9 December 2011

‘Apart from a few jarring turns of phrase, the Mozart was gorgeous … Jansen has a singing tone and pure intonation that remind us how closely 18th-century instrumental practice depends on bel canto vocal technique. The ‘Turkish’ music in the concerto’s last movement gave Jurowski an opportunity to be himself and make a lot of noise; this time, however, in keeping with Mozart’s comic intent.’
David P. Goldman, The Tablet, 9 December 2011

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Reviews: 3 December 2011 – Vladimir Jurowski conducts Anderson, Mozart & Tchaikovsky

December 7, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Julian Anderson’s Fantasias (recent winner at the British Composer Awards), Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 3 December, under Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski with violinist Janine Jansen.

Reviewed by Martin Kettle, The Guardian:
‘Janine Jansen and a slimmed-down LPO produced a performance of the Mozart concerto that was in every respect like a visitation from another musical world. From her very first entry, a magically reflective tiny adagio amid the surrounding opening movement allegro, the refinement of Jansen’s silvery tone drew the audience into a reading characterised by great intimacy, with Jurowski now reinvented as a most sensitive accompanist.’

Reviewed by Richard Fairman, Financial Times:
‘A white-hot performance – not emotionally indulgent, as Rostropovich used to be in Tchaikovsky, but concentrated to a gripping level of intensity.’

Reviewed by Colin Anderson, Classicalsource.com:
‘For this compelling LPO performance [of the Manfred Symphony], Jurowski now sported antiphonal violins and ten double basses added appropriate weight. Jurowski seems to have added greater rhetoric to previously, finding affecting expressive depth – not least in the third movement ‘Pastorale’ (very convincingly Adagio rather than the marked Andante con moto, and oboist Ian Hardwick was eloquence personified) – and unleashing a music-serving virtuosity that brought off the very tricky, off-the-beat ‘Alpine Fairy’ scherzo with quicksilver deftness at a very nifty tempo.’

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Reviews: 30 November 2011 – Vladimir Jurowski and Lars Vogt

December 2, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Matthias Pintscher’s towards Osiris, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor) and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 1 at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday 30 November, under Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski with pianist Lars Vogt.

The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and is available to listen again here until Wednesday 7 December.

Reviewed by Tim Ashley in The Guardian:
The excitement never flagged. Jurowski was in his element here, too: imperious and tense, favouring swift speeds, and propelling Vogt through the work with uncommon urgency.

Reviewed by Ivan Hewett in The Telegraph:
The players’ concentration never flagged, and the way Jurowski shaped the  work’s confusing narrative was totally compelling, even if the piece itself  remained a mystery.

Reviewed by Richard Whitehouse on Classicalsource.com:
Jurowski has thus far tended to leave Bruckner to others of the LPO’s conducting roster, though his prowess in early- and mid-Romantic repertoire justified his tackling the First Symphony and the resulting performance did not disappoint … The [LPO’s] response here was more than equal to the task and the applause suggested delighted surprise on the part of the audience. Jurowski could yet blaze a trail for this symphony, though the present account would be well worth releasing on the LPO’s own label.

Reviewed by Gavin Dixon on Orpheus Complex (blog):
The Adagio [of the Bruckner] was lyrical and elegant, thanks in no small part to the LPO’s fine string section. Their precise ensemble and sophisticated tone allowed the music to sound far more mature than it actually is. And then in the Scherzo, Jurowski really went to town with the punchy rhythms and drama from every corner of the orchestra. Special mention should go to the trombone section, whose throaty tones and incisive accents brilliantly underpinned the tuttis here.

Reviewed by Ken Ward of The Bruckner Journal on Bachtrack.com:
One of Bruckner’s most rarely performed works could not have received better advocacy. The LPO were on top form … Jurowski’s approach to this music had complete conviction and, very importantly, an overriding sense of direction. The LPO played it all with great vitality, colour and imagination. 

Reviewed by Christian Hoskins on MusicOMH.com:
As far as I can tell, this was Jurowski’s first performance of a Bruckner symphony, but the results were superb … It is difficult to envisage Bruckner’s First Symphony ever receiving a more carefully prepared and beautifully presented interpretation than this.

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More reviews: 16 November 2011 – Osmo Vänskä conducts Tchaikovsky and Bruckner

November 21, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday 16 November, under conductor Osmo Vänskä with violinist Janine Jansen.

See earlier reviews here

Reviewed by Fiona Maddocks in The Guardian:
[Jansen's] mix of poise and, when she plays, slight girlish ungainliness, made for a compelling, occasionally wayward performance, at once fierce and lyrical in its intensity.

Reviewed by Richard Fairman in The Financial Times:
Jansen rode this bucking bronco with remarkable aplomb, turning every one of Vänskä’s extremes into a golden opportunity for virtuoso playing that was unbearably tender at one moment, bracingly athletic the next.

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Reviews: 16 November 2011 – Osmo Vänskä conducts Tchaikovsky and Bruckner

November 18, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday 16 November, under conductor Osmo Vänskä with violinist Janine Jansen.

Reviewed by Erica Jeal in The Guardian:
Jansen’s playing was full of personality – and, under Osmo Vänskä’s meticulous direction, the orchestra matched her at every step, from the soft-grained string opening, through the whispered slow-movement accompaniments, to the colourful wind solos in the finale.

Reviewed by Colin Anderson on Classicalsource.com:
The LPO and Vänskä were faithful accompanists (full of expectation from the off) and woodwind solos were quite lovely; especially from flute and clarinet in the middle-movement ‘Canzonetta’.

Reviewed by Geoff Brown on Theartsdesk.com:
Along the way through the symphony’s peaks and valleys, the LPO’s playing achieved exceptional refinement. We’ll forget the odd fluff in the brass; what counted much more were the horn calls’ pristine beauty; or the loving, unapologetic treatment of the humble melody during what Bruckner called the Scherzo’s ‘lunch break’; or the cellos’ velvet glow, specifically emphasised by Vänskä within the orchestral textures.

Reviewed by Hilary Finch in The Times (available to paid subscribers only):
Osmo Vänskä is now well on the way to becoming a distinguished Brucknerian. Or so it seemed on the evidence of his recent visit to the London Philharmonic, when he put the orchestra through its paces in a buoyant and searching performance of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony.

Reviewed by Ken Ward, Editor of The Bruckner Journal on bachtrack.com:
It was a performance that raised interesting and provoking questions about how you might perform a Bruckner symphony with a light classical touch, rather than the heavy, monumental and deeply emotional romanticism that is characteristic of most performances, and as such it was a considered and thoughtful approach.

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