Violin and music

Violin and music

January 2011

Elgar The Kingdom - Sir Mark Elder/Susan Gritton/Sarah Connolly/Stuart Skelton/Iain Paterson

Sun 30 Jan 2011 7.30pm, 3 Feb 2011
it was the oratorio’s ending that lingered for hours in my mind, with Elder and his forces breathing a collective sigh of pure, emotive simplicity.
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The Guardian, 2 Feb 2011
a performance of such fierce certainty and architectural coherence that it's hard to imagine anyone making a better case for the score's importance.
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The Times, 1 Feb 2011
At the end, voluminous smiles and applause. Fair enough: The Kingdom had been won, with some power and glory.
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New Statesman, 1 Feb 2011
Thanks to Mark Elder and the generous virtuosity of the London Symphony Orchestra however, there wasn't a tweed-clad or jingoistic moment to be found.
Read full article, 1 Feb 2011
It was an amazing, almost out-of-body experience to be part of the audience for this rare performance of Elgar’s oratorio .... superb playing from the LSO, of the sort that makes you wonder, all over again, how Elgar could hear and achieve such a depth and iridescence of sound.
Read full article, 31 Jan 2011
Few orchestras in the world would do a better impression of the Holy Ghost than the London Symphony Orchestra. They caught the stormy opening - the shards of brassy light breaking through the gusty textures - wonderfully, and engrossed us throughout Part Three's rich tapestry of sounds; its whistling organ stops, fugal complications and coloured brass.
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The Independent, 31 Jan 2011
... the LSO horns took off into characteristically Elgarian descants and soprano Susan Gritton (a late replacement for the indisposed Cheryl Barker) crowned the moment of exultation.
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Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky - Valery Gergiev/Sergey Khachatryan

Tue 18 Jan 2011 7.30pm

The Guardian, 20 Jan 2011
... the scintillating Scherzo was irresistible. This is clearly a cycle not to be missed.
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Gergiev knows how this music goes – it’s as simple and as complicated as that ... Only the great ones can fill pause bars like this with such a sense of anticipation. Here’s to the rest of the journey.
Read full article, 19 Jan 2011
Superb wind ensemble and delicate timpani-playing combined to create rapt stillness and wonderfully pregnant silences.
Read full article, 20 Jan 2011
This may not be the most accomplished of Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies, but the LSO certainly proved they like a challenge. They explored its highlights with full thrust, leaving me feeling optimistic, humming the tunes the whole tube journey home.
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Strauss/Vaughan Williams - André Previn/Tim Hugh

Sun 16 Jan 2011 7.30pm, 19 Jan 2011
The opening work, Strauss’s Don Quixote, received a stimulating and vividly etched performance, the various episodes not just demonstrating orchestral virtuosity, but communicating emotional weight as well.
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The Guardian, 18 Jan 2011
Previn's deep affinity with this score shone out in an account that held firm to a sense of spiritual vision lacking neither intensity nor sonic beauty, with the work's moments of darkness memorably offsetting its striking and, at times, piercing luminosity.
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The Times, 17 Jan 2011
Previn gave [Vaughan Williams Symphony No 5] a powerful, searching momentum without pushing it beyond its natural emotional metre ... A standing ovation followed this outstandingly committed performance.
Read full article [subscription required], 17 Jan 2011
A fitting end to a fine performance – and to a concert which reminded that, in his repertoire of choice, Previn lacks nothing in discreet insight.
Read full article, 17 Jan 2011
Here and in the final fight scene the orchestra’s stunning dynamic control was apparent; the forte playing was loud enough to terrify without sounding forced or uncomfortable.
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Liszt/Berlioz - François-Xavier Roth/Barry Douglas

Thu 6 Jan 2011 7.30pm

The Times, 10 Jan 2011
... in the wild horse ride of Liszt’s symphonic poem Mazeppa, you marvelled at Roth’s tight control and the pinprick exactitude of the LSO brass — one of the glorious orchestral sounds that no Christmas wassailing can ever replace.
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Evening Standard, 7 Jan 2011
Roth and his players did their best, driving this obsessive, hallucinatory, truly fantastic symphony to an exhilarating conclusion.
Read full article, 7 Jan 2011
The whole performance was characterised by an intimate connection between soloist, conductor and orchestra. Principal cellist Tim Hugh put in an intense solo, although the vibrato was a little overdone. Lovely interjections, too, from horn, woodwind and double bass players.
Read full article, 10 Jan 2011
This was the LSO playing on top form, for a conductor they clearly like, in no-holds-barred performance of Romantic repertoire.
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The Guardian, 10 Jan 2011
Understanding [Liszt's] mix of poetry and flamboyance, Roth pitched his music at a high emotional level. Mazeppa was thrill-a-minute stuff delivered with ferocious exactitude. The concerto is no masterpiece and can sometimes seem discursive, but in this instance it had tremendous integrity and shape.
Read full article, 7 Jan 2011
This fizzing performance, aflame with imagery, with tension maintained through dramatic pauses, served Liszt well, pointing up contrasts ... it was a humdinger of a performance.
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The Independent, 7 Jan 2011
[Barry Douglas'] singing tone and silvery ornamentation flashed its accomplishment like a self-satisfied smile and even the orchestral soloists – clarinet, horn, oboe, and finally cello – seemed always to be deferring to him.
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