Reviews of War & Peace mini-series with Vladimir Jurowski

October 8, 2012

Last week the London Philharmonic Orchestra joined forces with the Russian National Orchestra to present three concerts on a theme of ‘War and Peace': one concert each, and a joint concert with both orchestras, all conducted by LPO Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski.

Here’s what the critics wrote … let us know if you agree! You can leave a comment on this post below, or via our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Wednesday 3 October 2012: Britten, Walton & Prokofiev (Vladimir Jurowski, Lawrence Power & LPO)

‘Vladimir Jurowski’s programme of British and Russian orchestral firecrackers demonstrated the outstanding form we’re currently enjoying from the London Philharmonic. The very first hammer-blow chord of Benjamin Britten’s forcefully argued Sinfonia da Requiem announced the players’ determined purpose, the orchestra maintaining its fearsomely high standard throughout the evening.’
Andrew Morris, Classical Source

Friday 5 October 2012: Tchaikovsky, Britten & Shostakovich (Vladimir Jurowski, Lawrence Power, LPO & RNO)

‘The final burst into processional flames, with the 30-plus violins magnificently ranged left and right of the conductor and brass keeping their collective head, worked its blatant charm as it only really can in a great concert-hall occasion. This was certainly such an event.’
David Nice, The Arts Desk

‘Lawrence Power probed Britten’s exploration of the viola’s soul judiciously and Jurowski’s concern with minutiae paid dividends; this most-beautiful music sang.’
Kevin Rogers, Classical Source

‘There are few more overwhelming perorations in music than that effected by the defiant trombone-led return of the Leningrad’s opening theme at the close of the piece and with Shostakovich’s augmented brass section in full cry (and maybe, too, the legacy of these momentous events so intensely felt by the Russian players) the message could not have been more emphatic.’
Edward Seckerson (blog) 

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The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s season continues this Friday, 12 October, with a programme of Prokofiev, Elgar and Sibelius under conductor Vassily Sinaisky with cellist Sol Gabetta. The concert is almost sold out,  but at the time of writing there are still a few tickets left.
> More information and book online

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Reviews: 2 May 2012 – Vladimir Jurowski & Martin Helmchen

May 3, 2012

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2011/12 season at Royal Festival Hall came to a close on Wednesday 2 May, when Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski conducted Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen Suite, Dvořák’s Piano Concerto with soloist Martin Helmchen; and Suk’s Ripening.

Reviewed by Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk:
‘Cheeky and subversive as the Vixen herself, the LPO danced their way fluidly from episode to episode. Jurowski’s flexible tempos accommodated every glancing shift of mood, and while later in the Suk the LPO occasionally struggled to keep up, here all was organic and unanimous.’

Reviewed by Gavin Dixon, Orpheus Complex blog:
‘Like the pieces in the first half, [Suk’s Ripening] is not the sort of score that allows an orchestra to show off without having to work, but the preparation and the musical sensitivity here from everybody helped to bring this music to life. Do they deserve their obscurity? Perhaps, but they’re worth hearing every once in a while, especially when performed to this standard.’

The 2012/13 season opens on Wednesday 26 September, when Vladimir Jurowski conducts a programme of music by Richard Strauss and Zemlinsky. The concert opens with excerpts from Strauss’s thrilling opera Die Frau ohne Schatten (‘The Woman Without a Shadow’), considered by many to be his finest work in the genre, and also includes Zemlinsky’s dramatic and sinister one-act opera A Florentine Tragedy, based on Oscar Wilde’s dark and death-ridden play.

Full listings and booking details for the 2012/13 season

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Let us know what you thought of the concert!
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More reviews: 18 April 2012 – Osmo Vänskä & Colin Currie

April 20, 2012

On Wednesday 18 April, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Colin Currie, under conductor Osmo Vänskä, gave the world première of Sieidi: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Finnish composer Kalevi Aho. The programme also included Schumann’s Genoveva Overture and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1

Reviewed by Andrew Morris, Classicalsource.com:
‘Colin Currie tackled the work with a winningly energetic panache and Osmo Vänskä steered the London Philharmonic through a confident reading.’

Reviewed by Guy Dammann, The Guardian:
Currie and the London Philharmonic performed the work beautifully, led by Aho’s compatriot Osmo Vänskä.’

Read earlier reviews of the concert here

The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and you can listen again free here until 25 April.

lpo.org.uk

Let us know what you thought of the concert!
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Reviews: 18 April 2012 – Osmo Vänskä & Colin Currie

April 19, 2012

On Wednesday 18 April, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist Colin Currie, under conductor Osmo Vänskä, gave the world première of Sieidi: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Finnish composer Kalevi Aho. The programme also included Schumann’s Genoveva Overture and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1

Reviewed by Nick Kimberley, The Evening Standard:
‘Aho conjured up a different orchestral atmosphere for each station on Currie’s journey; whining sax over vibraphone recalled Debussy, sinuous rhythms suggested the swaying of an exotic dancer, one section with castanets might have worked on Broadway Meanwhile, Currie progressed with calm authority through an anthology of modern percussion gestures, using hands, sticks, mallets, brushes and bows to coax life into his instruments … Sieidi was vivid, colourful, entertaining.’

Reviewed by Geoff Brown, The Arts Desk:
‘The spatial effects were briefly striking, while Currie’s furious drumming was exciting: it always is. But I couldn’t help wishing that he was using his powers on music that went beyond being a hollow monument.’

The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and you can listen again free here until 25 April.

lpo.org.uk

Let us know what you thought of the concert!
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Reviews: 13 April 2012 – International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation

April 16, 2012

On Friday 13 April, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist John Lill performed at Royal Festival Hall under three up-and-coming conductors as the culmination of the 2011/12 International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation. The three conductors were Thomas Blunt from the UK, Venezuelan Domingo Hindoyan, and Ward Stare from the USA.

Reviewed by Colin Anderson, Classicalsource.com:
‘Thomas Blunt sculpted a fiery, graceful and poised ‘Haffner’ Symphony (his baton-less gestures expressive rather than textbook), with dynamics finely observed and much that was stylish …
The first-movement cadenza [of the Beethoven concerto] was of strength and fantasy, the slow movement was given rare eloquence, and the finale enjoyed Lill’s puckish and rambunctious approach – or rather he knows just how the music goes and brought it to witty life. Indeed, throughout, one hung on every note, each one recognisable but seemingly new-minted…
Stare lucidly progressed through [Stravinsky’s Symphony in C] not over-expressing its pastoral simplicity, but making it sincere nonetheless, and finding a compelling solemnity at the opening of the finale. Otherwise the music pirouetted with grace and the decoration and deft counterpoint was intelligibly realised. The playing was deft and poetic.’

Reviewed by Edward Seckerson, The Independent:
‘This suave and self-assured young man [Domingo Hindoyan], a tall and rangy presence, immediately exhibited his skills in a shapely opening paragraph, the martial atmosphere crisply maintained with a frisson of excitement in the clinching crescendo. Lill is a past master of Beethovenian “distillation” and Hindoyan was at one with him in capturing the mystical spareness of their exchanges in the slow movement …
The dapper Ward Stare is already installed as Resident Conductor at the Saint Louis Symphony and his accomplished account of the evening’s most demanding piece – Stravinsky’s Symphony in C – was cool, collected, super-clear in its intentions, and often beautiful – nowhere more so than in the valedictory (and exceedingly tricky) wind chordings of the closing bars.’

Read more about the International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation

lpo.org.uk

Let us know what you thought of the concert!
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More reviews: 28 March 2012 – Matthew Coorey & Lisa Batiashvili

March 30, 2012

On Wednesday 28 March, the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with soloist/director Lisa Batiashvili, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 under conductor Matthew Coorey. We are very grateful to Matthew, who stepped in for an ill Yannick Nézet-Séguin at extremely short notice.

Reviewed by Geoff Diggines, Seen and Heard International:
‘Coorey, unlike many famous Mahler conductors, understands that Mahler wants a great adagio finale, but also one which is ‘restrained’ … Throughout this movement the LPO’s playing was impressively committed … . I shall certainly be looking out for more from Mr Coorey. Despite shortcomings in the other movements, this was an impressive Mahler 9. The excellent final adagio alone made this concert a musical event that I shall remember long into the future.’

Read earlier reviews of the concert here

Let us know what you thought of the concert!
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Twitter: @LPOrchestra

lpo.org.uk


Reviews: 28 March 2012 – Matthew Coorey & Lisa Batiashvili

March 30, 2012

On Wednesday 28 March, the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with soloist/director Lisa Batiashvili, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 under conductor Matthew Coorey. We are very grateful to Matthew, who stepped in for an ill Yannick Nézet-Séguin at extremely short notice.

Reviewed by Colin Anderson, Classicalsource.com:
‘Coorey conjured a clear-sighted, well-versed account that was always going somewhere and which arrived there (climaxes blazed and the delicate intertwining of ‘chamber music’ solos was confident) … Best, probably, was the slow finale like the first movement persuasively paced, deeply felt without becoming mawkish and with the ‘string trio’ of Pieter Schoeman, David Marks and Kristina Blaumane exceptionally eloquent and heartfelt, the music’s increasing fragility and pausing well-managed to close a very creditable performance.’

Reviewed by James Potter, Bachtrack.com:
‘Batiashvili tapped into her background in quartet playing, which helped her to articulate the essential dynamic of any concerto: the interplay between solo and orchestra. She was alive to the musical impulses of the piece, communicating them with the orchestra but also sharing them with us, with characterful phrasing and effortless virtuosity.’

lpo.org.uk

Let us know what you thought of the concert!
Facebook: londonphilharmonicorchestra
Twitter: @LPOrchestra


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