Fri 19 Nov 2010 - Gergiev/Mustonen
We just loved the concert. The string section of the LSO is uniquely beautiful. Love Mahler. Love Gergiev. My husband had a stroke recently. This concert was such a blessing to him. Thank you.
Françoise and Jean-Pierre Holvoet
We were really enchanted by the orchestra. Mahler was wonderful, we enjoyed the excellent performance! It was worth the trip from Belgium!
I enjoyed the concert; wasn’t familiar with either work, so reluctant to criticise. But I must say the artsdesk review could have come straight from Pseud’s Corner!
Having been present at the Barbican concert on Nov 19, reading the press reviews makes me wonder whether we were at the same concert, in the same audience. For me the Shchedrin concerto was largely indistinguished - a collective of small inauspicious riffs, an underwhelming orchestration, and a duration double its content merited - a feeling transparently present in the audience response, which was respectful of the soloist, but unimpressed with the piece.
The Mahler by comparison was an exhilarating triumph, sensationally played, visceral and moving, the LSO tender and violent, loving and scabrous by turns, with Gergiev riding the tiger with the enthusiasm and care, gusto and strength it demanded. The audience whooped their appreciation - and so did I. A wonderful triumphant transporting performance - bravo!
Sat 13 Nov 2010 - Philharmonie, Luxembourg
Last Saturday I had the unbelievable luck listening to the LSO at the Luxemburgish Philharmony. It was an experience that I will never forget in my life. When I think about Elgar`s variationes that you played the second half my heart starts to knock faster and my hands get sweaty. I wish I could listen to you every day (not just on CD). You guys made my life richer that day. I THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Usually I`m listening more to Jazz and I also play more a jazzy-style trumpet but the kind of music that you played inspired me a lot. The perfection in the way you play TOGETHER is incredible. You are just like a wave on the sea: the whole orchestra moves at the same speed in the same direction at the same time guided be a wind named conductor. It is always very disappointing for a hobby-musician like me that I will never in my life have the chance to play just for one second in an orchestra like that. When I think about that I realise that I was very stupid when I was young being lazy on practicing all the time.
So I send you my greets with a smiling and a crying eye from Germany and please excuse my bad English. I will come to London to visit you for a concert as soon as I can.
Thanks for everything.
Wed 10 Nov 2010 - Davis/Znaider
I have just read the reviews (Guardian and FT) of last Wednesday's concert at the Barbican and I can only assume that they were at a different concert to me. I do agree with some of the comments regarding Sir Colin's performance of the "Scottish" symphony and could have wished for a smaller orchestra as I did think that some of the textures were too thick. However, the performance of the Elgar was sublime (I am a passionate Elgarian and member of the Elgar Society) and in my living memory only Menuhin has played this concerto better than Znaider. I heard Yehudi on several occasions in the 1960's and 1970's with various conductors including Boult and in my opinion, of living conductors, only Sir Colin is his equal. For me, there are only two great conductors now with us, Sir Colin and Kurt Masur.
This was, in fact, more Sir Colin's performance than Znaider's; the sounds that he produced from your orchestra (as he did in the recent recording) were remarkable. If I hear a greater performance in the future, I shall consider myself truly blessed.
Please thank all your musicians, and especially Sir Colin, for a very memorable evening.
A quite wonderful performance of the Elgar Violin Concerto. Znaider was if anything a little freer with portamenti and rubato than on his recording. I loved the way he kept turning to members of the orchestra to integrate their phrasing with his. And the audience was obviously gripped, not a cough was heard during those rapt intimite passages.
A wonderful concert; great to be there
This was a terrific concert. I've been fairly critical of some of the other new pieces introduced under the UBS Soundscapes project but I was enthralled by Emily Howard's 'Solar' which gripped from its rivetting opening bars.
Mendelssohn's 'Scottish' Symphony is a delightful work and this performance did it full justice. I particularly enjoyed the thistledown lightness of the Scherzo and the final coda was thrilling. If it's too slow it sounds ponderous but on this occasion it went with a real swing and the horns had a field day.
The Elgar Violin Concerto was wonderful. I don't think I've ever heard a dud performance but this was special. Playing it on the violin Kreisler used at its premiere did give it an extra frisson. Nikolaj Znaider, Sir Colin and th LSO deserve the highest praise for a great performance of a great work.
Sun 7 Nov 2010 - Harding/Lang Lang/Zimmermann/Synergy Vocals
Sunday's concert was a joy and a wonderful suprise. I also greatly appreciate the receiving your newletter and whenever extra issues to attend, lectures, etc whenever possible.
The Berio was awful, truly awful! This is a real case of the emperor’s new clothes. Something totally without merit being taken seriously by lots of people because it is "art". In this case wrong: it is rubbish. You can always tell: just look at the conductor; on Sunday Harding had his nose in the score and struggled to find a beat but with proper music he conducts with feeling and passion. So if Berio can't reach the conductor how can we mere mortals get it! Probably because there is nothing to get.
Why have two pieces following each other that required such extensive stage resetting? The Liszt was fine and the redeeming feature of the evening and I suspect Lang Lang would have been no better, but the Berlioz mediocre, all in all an untypically poor night.
Thank you so much for lhe concert last night.. Of course we were all disappointed not to hear Lang Lang but what a thrill to hear such an electrifying young substitute. many congratulations to Alice!! We hope that Langlang soon recovers.
I enjoyed the talk at 5.30, I was totally ignorant of the Berio, never having heard it during a long life of concert going. The excellent speaker whose name I did not catch, gave us guidelines to find our way through this piece. The Liszt and the Berlioz were also illuminated so that we had a fresh approach in listening to them .How generous of Robert Turner to come and play examples.
I would like more of these talks please!!
Just to let you know that we thought the free talk yesterday was excellent. Rachel Leach was very lively and engaging and my daughter was glad we went. Indeed I think we all benefitted from learning more about the music and what to listen out for, so we all enjoyed the concert more.
I had not realised that I could book tickets for Emma for £4.00 so I will try to do this in the future (I have three tickets again for 9 December and 21 December, but may bring one of our two older children to each of those - both now over 18 but they would doubtless benefit from these talks too!). Anyway, I hope you will have the resources to put on more talks in the future as I'm sure they help to make classical concerts less intimidating for young people.
A really useful pre-concert talk - thank you. More please- obviously it's incredibly useful for contemporary classical music, but it really illuminated the Lizst and Berlioz for us too.
Revd. Ron and Mrs. Janet Ingamells
Once again a wonderful and exciting evening of music! There were some sad comments from people near us about the Berio Sinfonia, but we appreciated the skill of orchestra and voices in their presentation of such a highly complex piece!
It was a disappointment about Lang Lang being unable to perform but what a superb replacement! Alice Sara Ott gave a remarkable, stimulating, and invigorating performance of Liszt Piano concerto. We look forward to another appearance!
Daniel Harding and the LSO must have been exhausted after Harold in Italy. Such power and zest together with the superb violin playing of Tabea Zimmermann.
I write this before reading any of the critics as one who enjoys the privilege of hearing the LSO!
Also, many thanks for the Friends pre-concert talk. Apologies that I do not have the names but please convey our appreciation of such a detailed and dynamic introduction to the whole concert. How are these talks publicised for Friends?
Thu 4 Nov 2010 - Donatella Flick Conducting Competition
The Donatella Flick competion was great fun, as ever, with the audience as entertaining as the performers.
Personally I loved the woman conductor, but was obviously in a minority. It was very good to see Rachel Gough in an official capacity.
The LSO and the Barbican make me feel good - thank you.
What a wonderful evening and seeing young conductors performing. It is very encouraging to see young people showing their talent, in my opinion the correct winner was chosen although all participants were excellent.