Tue 18 & Sun 23 Jan 2011 - Gergiev/Khachatryan
The young Armenian violinist played the Schostakovich with such absorption that we in the audience became focused also. Gergiev gave my husband and me a magical evening, with the LSO sensitive to his requirements and playing with the greatest subtlety. Words fail to express the wonders of this performance of Tchaikovsky's 1st Symphony. The fact that we want to hear the whole cycle perhaps illustrates the point adequately.
Thank you for a wonderful concert on Sunday. I really enjoyed the Shostakovich in particular. My friend and I got our tickets through FreeB and everything was so well organised and amazing considering they were free... so we are even more appreciative.
However, I couldn't help replying to this email I received because I wanted to raise an sound tech issue in the 2nd half of the concert on Sunday. You have probably been made well aware of this by now and I think even Gergiev himself made it clear that he could hear it on stage. There seemed to be some sort of feedback occurring through the microphones perhaps that was very high pitched and offputting in the quieter moments of the tchaik. I thought this was such a shame as it was really rather off-putting. I would have hoped that the Barbican, being a world-class concert hall would be able to avoid such technical problems. I only point it out because if you have not already looked into the cause of the noise, then maybe you can, so that other concert-goers are prevented from the disturbance. Thank you for what was otherwise, a most pleasant evening. I hope to come to the Barbican again soon.
This was top of the range, especially the violin concerto. Sergey Khachatryan reduced my brother and I to tears. Keep them coming!
A most enjoyable and stimulating concert which has me looking forward greatly to the rest of the Tchaikovsky series. This was an ideal concert for which a small overture would have been possible and valuable. A finish scheduled for 9.15 is rather short measure (even if the Bach encore took up a couple of minutes more). Thanks to all for a fine evening.
Sun 16 Jan 2011 - Previn/Hugh
It was good to see Andre Previn back in charge of his old orchestra. Though he's frail and needs to sit when conducting he hasn't lost his ability to whip up a storm or make musical magic. 'Don Quixote' was terrific. Wonderfully played by the orchestra and a terrific performance from Tim Hughes. Previn revealed a wealth of detail by his acute ear for balance and clearly relished the humour of much of the writing. I don't think I've heard better sheep bleating! The beautiful ending was most affecting.
For me though the main draw was Vaughan Williams 5th Symphony. I well remember the impact that Previn's dedication to RVW's music had back in the 1960's. I think that, like many of my generation, I undervalued his music and Previn's performances were a revelation. Each new issue of his RCA cycle was snapped up and still stands the test of time. Sunday's performance was magnificent full of warmth, passion and a feel for the way the music needed to be shaped. Wonderful playing from all concerned but the rich tone of the strings really stood out. We concert-goers are a greedy lot and I hope that Mr Previn will do more RVW with the LSO. On this form a 'London' symphony from them would be pure heaven. Thank you.
The concert was amazing, helped by the fact that in row D we could see every bead of perspiration on Tim Hugh's face as he put his all into the Strauss. The Vaughan Williams was sublime.
I also had a chance to say hello to Andre Previn after the morning rehearsal. We will do more of these.
Thu 6 Jan 2011 - Roth/Douglas
Maestro Gabriele Di Toma
(Translated from original Italian)
I am an Italian conductor. I really enjoyed the concert on January 6 last year. The orchestra and 'exceptional and responded to the gesture and the intentions of the director with great precision and professionalism'. Too bad that the director, while valuable, has directly without the help of the wand. I think this is a physical limit and technical assistance to a conductor. The pianist and instead I do not 'like: for quality' sound that I found much material for the use of the pedal that is not clearly conveyed in the room and that something magical and spiritually 'that should be a characteristic of a great pianist. Finally resigned his presence also acting within not convey style and elegance.
A brief comment is also a youth orchestra concert on 5 January. Excellent orchestra, almost touching the efforts made, is very low but the presence of the Director that, especially in Beethoven did not know how the deadlift of time, the breathing, sense of rhythm, the breakdown of the gesture with the wand and many other things that could dire.Una unmusical interpretation of Beethoven. Congratulations to the staff room and the organization in general. Thank you for your attention.