November 2, 2009
Paul Driver in the Sunday Times reviews last week’s premiere of Rautavaara’s Incantations with soloist Colin Currie and Bruckner’s 8th Symphony with Yannick Nezet-Seguin:
“Einojuhani Rautavaara, who has just turned 81, is Finland’s best-known senior composer, and quite often performed in this country, but it was hard to find Incantations, his new percussion concerto — premiered at the Festival Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with the soloist Colin Currie — much of an advert for Finnish music.”
London Philharmonic Orchestra website: www.lpo.org.uk
October 26, 2009
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 on Saturday 24 October. The first half of the concert contained the world premiere of Rautavaara’s percussion concerto Incantations, written for Colin Currie.
Ivan Hewett reviewed the concert in the Daily Telegraph:
“..the weirdly dissonant shadowings in the woodwind, the misty string backdrop and the strange percussion glissandi made it rivetingly strange. The other very striking moment was the solo cadenza. This was composed by the soloist Colin Currie, who showed a real flair for translating Rautavaara’s cold expressive climate into the inherently tropical sound-world of percussion. The long meditative passages for vibraphone and the more agitated ‘shamanistic’ dances that interrupted them were more conventional. But Currie played them with such artistry that they seemed almost inspired. Though each individual idea was not so strong, the impression of the whole certainly was – which was the most mysterious aspect of a very mysterious piece.”
and on the Bruckner:
“The piece makes huge demands on the orchestra’s stamina, especially the brass, but the LPO rose to the challenge magnificently. The most telling moment was the very last, when Nézet-Séguin shaded off the final chord rather than going for sheer volume. It was a canny substitute for the cathedral-like final echo the piece needs, and created a sense of something immense fading away on the air.”
Also reviewed on Classical Source by Richard Whitehouse.
October 23, 2009
UPDATE: APRIL 2010 – this video is no longer available to view. Apologies.
This short video clip was taken at this morning’s rehearsal of Rautavaara’s percussion concerto Incantations, written for Colin Currie.
The performance is tomorrow evening, 24 October 2009, at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.