Violin and music

Violin and music

May 2011

Haydn/Beethoven/Nielsen - Sir Colin Davis/Mitsuko Uchida

Thu 26 May 2011 7.30pm

The Guardian, 27 May 2011
It also played to the strengths of the orchestra, the woodwind – in excellent fettle despite several unfamiliar faces – resplendent in the second movement's riotous Humoreske, the strings serene and sure-footed in the meandering pathways of the third movement. The percussion, on whom the responsibility for making sense of the outer movements largely rests, were excellent.
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The Independent, 29 May 2011
[Uchida's] was a very contained rapture in the slow movement and in the finale the give and take with Davis and the orchestra was the very essence of what concerto playing is all about.
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The Times, 30 May 2011
With a severity of purpose hinged to every twist and turn, the result wasn’t nonsense, but perfect Nielsense.
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The Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2011
As always, Uchida showed a wonderful mastery of colour, which she used not to ravish our ears but to take us to far-flung emotional territory.
Read full review, 27 May 2011
... this was a sympathetic and often probing account of a disconcerting piece, despatched with accuracy and no mean conviction by the London Symphony Orchestra.
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Seen and Heard, 27 May 2011
The players had obviously done their homework too, because the orchestral playing here was ideal – precise, coordinated and focussed, and without any trace of pedantry, nor, I should add, of resentment at the bizarre challenges to which they were being put, often for only obscure musical gains.
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Mozart/Mahler - Valery Gergiev/Emanuel Abbühl

Sat 21 May 2011 7.30pm, KKL Luzern, 22 May 2011
There was some mellifluous oboe and clarinet playing in the development section (the long-standing Principal clarinet is no less that Neville Marriner’s son, Andrew), and a veritable explosion of sound as the movement drew to its impressive conclusion.
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Shchedrin/Mozart/Tchaikovsky - Valery Gergiev/Emanuel Abbühl

Fri 20 May 2011 7.30pm, Tonhalle Zürich, 21 May 2011
Abbühl gave an excellent account of Mozart's tuneful concerto. In terms of tempo, expression and accent, he was first-rate and his tone was exquisite: bucolic and almost rustic in the opening movement, then plangent in the Andante and jaunty in the beguiling Rondo and Allegretto. Gergiev and the LSO rendered an energetic accompaniment, full of verve in the tuttis and suitably delicate in the quieter pages.
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Nonclassical Directions - Gabriel Prokofiev/Powerplant/Peter Gregson/DJ Switch

Tue 17 May 2011 8pm, LSO St Luke's

The Arts Desk, 18 May 2011
In a week in which the nation has debated the relevance of classical music, it was left to the LSO’s Eclectica concert series to have the final word was an evening that succeeded in wiping just some of the dirt from that filthiest of words: “relevant”.
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Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky - Gergiev/Bronfman/Cobb

Thu 12 & Sun 15 May 2011 7.30pm

The Independent, 13 May 2011
Gergiev instinctively knows how this music breathes, he knows how to catch it on the wing, so to speak, to take the sound away and achieve that airiness and balletic poise that can be so elusive.
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The Guardian, 13 May 2011
... it was trumpeter Philip Cobb who eventually became its real hero, playing the languid solo in the second movement with a bluesy poise that was breathtaking, dazzling everyone with his virtuosity in the finale.
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Evening Standard, 13 May 2011
Gergiev's inspired handling did raise the question of why programme planners do not more frequently offer this charming piece in preference to yet another Pathétique.
Read full review, 13 May 2011
... the LSO's principal trumpeter, Philip Cobb (aged just twenty-three) was the necessarily cool candidate: his fluid and sweet tone penetrated the tender core of this work, and his bravura colours crowned the concerto's climax.
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The Times, 16 May 2011
Now and then the ear would be ravished by world-class individual contributions: beautifully phrased bassoon and horn solos in the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony, for example; or spiralling clarinets and flutes in the scherzo of the same piece; or the virtuosity of the LSO’s ridiculously young principal trumpet, Philip Cobb, in Shostakovich’s Concerto for Trumpet, Piano and Strings.
Read full review (subscription required), 16 May 2011
Bronfman tackled the relentlessly demanding solo part with remarkable nimbleness, right up until the sparkling octaves of the finale, where the excitement was enhanced by Cobb's shining military fanfare.
Read full review, 16 May 2011
Clearly Valery Gergiev believes in every note of this endearing work, which was reflected in the LSO’s charismatic response.
Read full review, 17 May 2011
Always in full command of his players, Gergiev successfully linked together the sometimes frayed elements of the lengthy first movement, presenting it almost as a stand-alone orchestral study.
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Seen and Heard, 17 May 2011
The finale is a grand and triumphant piece, which allowed the LSO’s brass section to shine, and they rose to the occasion.
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Gershwin/Garland/Copland - Roth/Percy/Garland/Marshall

Thu 5 May 2011 7.30pm

The Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2011 Thursday night’s all-American concert they wafted us off to Cuba, Philip Cobb conjuring up a vibrato in Gershwin’s Cuban Overture that stayed just the right side of vulgarity. Everybody else struck exactly the same tone, reminding us that the LSO is Britain’s best American orchestra.
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The Times, 10 May 2011
...when the suite is played this well — a highlight being the LSO’s principal trumpeter, Philip Cobb, soaring over the prairies in his moving solo — you want to hear it all over again the moment it finishes.
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London Jazz, 6 May 2011
The orchestral playing here showed the LSO at its fleet-footed best, woodwind chirruping angular phrases. The horn-section led by David Pyatt in particular was faultless.
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Best of all was 'Prairie Night', with gently rocking strings supporting principal trumpeter Philip Cobb's tender solo in a depiction of Billy playing cards beneath the stars.
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