We want to know what you, the audience, has to say about the LSO's concerts and events.
After each concert we invite you to send us your thoughts, comments, questions and reviews of the evening. A selection will be published here.
You can send us any comments you have about the LSO by emailing Comment, write on our Facebook wall, or Tweet your comment,
including our account name @londonsymphony.
Gergiev/Fleming - 2011/12 Season Finale, Sun 15 Jul
I’m inspired to write to thank the LSO players for a great performance last night. Yes, Rene Fleming sang beautifully as usual but I would like to focus on La Mer. We have had this piece from Mr Gergiev several times and by the fine, detailed attention he gave, he clearly deeply respects this score.
The orchestral response on this occasion was sensational, the whole band playing at the peak of their powers. The woodwind and strings were especially memorable and I would like to mention (perhaps somewhat unusually) the exquisitely delicate cymbal playing of David Jackson. He deserved a “stand-up” at the end, but so did many others.
UBS Soundscapes: Eclectica - Conexions, Tue 10 Jul
It was so nice in Eclectica's performance on 10 July for the viola to have a chance to show what it can do. Garth Knox's strumming on one of the orchestra's most unlikely instruments - among the most stunning and colourful parts of the evening - really got the audience engaged, while the rest of the programme, with its fascinating sounds and effects, was an all-enveloping experience which took the watcher - for the sounds were almost visual - to the overwhelming¸ elemental world of coastal Norway with the wind, the rain, the snow and the stone - lots of it - where man, dwarfed by the huge mountains and the endlessly powerful sea, is an insignificant speck on the landscape.
Karl Seglem's poems, expanded and interpreted by Christian Wallumrød's mini-keyboard with bellows and Knox's eerie sounds on the viola, were very effective evocations of the sounds of nature, though possibly less so if one did not know the language (a bigger glossary might have helped). However there were no such problems with the colourful lullaby Sulla Lulla, which had all the audience nodding sleepily along.
Seglem's 'straight' instrument is the saxophone, which is clearly used to encourage even more wind in Norway. He then used his hands to wow a goat's horn almost like a mouthorgan, and flutter tongued a narrower, antelope's horn to great effect, though no doubt both animals would be startled at the new uses to which they found themselves put. St Luke's was a particularly good venue for a concert of this kind, especially in summer when the outside world almost seems to come in as one listens.
City of London Festival 2012: Berlioz Requiem, Mon 25 & Tue 26 Jun
I simply wanted to congratulate Sir Colin and the LSO on yesterday's Berlioz at St. Paul's. What a wonderful occasion - thank you all so much.
LSO Discovery Family Concert: Classical Champions, Sun 24 Jun
Thank you for a wonderful experience! My son and I both had a fantastic time - the LSO were of course fabulous and entered into the spirit very well, but hats off to Rachel Leach: she kept her young audience''s rapt attention without dampening spirits and very engagingly got some musical education through too. Well done! Please pass my comments on to her. Thank you again.
I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the concert on Sunday. This was our children's first experience of a classical concert and they loved it and want to come to more. My son has just started playing trombone and was particularly excited about the audience participation (and I have to say played brilliantly on the day after weeks of learning and practising the piece!). We loved the workshops beforehand and my daughter tried out all the other instruments on offer and has now decided she would like to learn the flute. So all in all, it fulfilled our and exceeded our requirements as we had hoped to encourage their love of music and let them see how it can be applied more practically than just it being endless scales and parents moaning at them to practice!! My son has asked to join an orchestra or band of some sort when he is a bit better on the trombone and next time he comes to a concert he really wants to meet some of the members of the orchestra if possible and get their autographs. He particularly loved the Star Wars theme music.
So thank you very much LSO. We hope to see you again soon.
I came to the Family concert on 24 June with my two children aged 5 and 7. Beforehand I did the family workshops with the 7 year old. I thought it was all absolutely fantastic.
Both workshops, the art/craft and the improvisation, were great fun and wonderfully well-run.
We didn't download the music in advance (only one child plays an instrument and he's only just started), and we didn't bring instruments with us, but we joined in the 'learn the song' workshop in the foyer beforehand which was very useful.
The concert itself was great. Just the right length, and just the right mixture of music. Wonderfully presented. We were sitting way up in the balcony but the screens meant we didn't miss the detail.
This is the third LSO family concert I've been to (3 in a row) and each time I've brought an additional member of the family and done an extra activity. For the next one, we're ALL going to do EVERYTHING and we'll bring my son's guitar too.
This is a fantastic day out for all the family: we went home weary and happy, clutching medals/ flags / torches / trophies etc.
It is the first time that we attend a concert like this, full of wonderful energy coming from the kids! Even though we do not have kids of our own, we really enjoyed participating in the activities and the awesome music played. We would like to receive information regarding further events like this.
My 7 year old daughter and I had seen the concert previously when we attended a school trip on 11th June, she liked it so much as soon as it had finished she asked whether she could see it again. I came home and looked on the internet and found out that the concert was going to be on again on the 24th June and my daughter attended with my husband. This time she brought her clarinet along, she had looked at the music on your internet site and had learnt her part. They attended the workshop before the concert and found the whole experience brilliant. She was so excited to tell her friends and teacher that she had played with the LSO.
We have booked to come to the family concert in October and hopefully will attend more events at the Barbican. I thought it was fantastically organised and such a brilliant opportunity for kids that age to get involved.
Thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I now have 2 little musicians in the making. Thank you for a wonderful experience.
It was a fantastic show ! My seating was also perfect and I look forward eagerly to the next performance.
Noseda/Denoke - Wagner/Berg/Beethoven, Thu 21 Jun 2012
Wonderfull LSO concert with Gianandrea NOSEDA and the Orchestra. THANK YOU from Paris, France
This was a last minute buy as my mother was visiting and she had never been to the barbican. She dreaded the Berg but in the end loved it and was in tears at the end of the 5th.
It was inspired, energised and a surprise. Bearing in mind it was probably one of the few classical albums we had when young I thought I had heard it a hundred times, but we both felt we heard it for the first time at the barbican.
A surprising and great night out.
Haitink/João Pires - Purcell/Mozart/Schubert/Bruckner, Sun 10 & Thu 14 Jun 2012
I’ve been going to concerts (mainly) in London for nigh-on forty years, certainly well before the Barbican even existed and the LSO merely jostled with four other orchestras – LPO, RPO, BBCSO and Philharmonia – for space in the Royal Festival Hall. In that time I’ve heard thousands of performances and umpteen dozens of Bruckner 7s – slow ones, fast ones, dull ones, weird ones, dreadful ones, good ones - the most recent of which was only back in April (Barenboim and his Berlin band). But I have never heard a performance to match that of the LSO under Haitink, given at the Barbican on 14th June.
The real surprise was the sense of urgency imparted to a score tracts of which can often hang fire and sound oddly directionless. But the general briskness of tempi in the outer allegros was never achieved at the expense of either due symphonic weight or narrative coherence (certainly not something you could say of Barenboim’s performance): and, more importantly, the Adagio was conducted (and played) at a level of structural grip and emotional force that knocked me sideways. The whole thing seemed so vibrantly alive, and yet perfectly natural and spontaneous-sounding in a way that I found revelatory, something not especially evident even on Haitink’s relatively recent Chicago SO live recording (the orchestral playing of which, though predictably resplendent and fatly sonorous, is still in no way superior to the remarkable echt-Brucknerian melos which the LSO conjured up on Thursday).
That Haitink should have produced an equally glorious Schubert 9 with the LSO only the week before – a work that defeats more bands and high-powered maestri than any other – seems to me a testimony to the conductor’s not just ongoing but actually ever-increasing grasp of symphonic structures, the mysterious art that conceals art, and one which indeed seems almost artless in a way. This is the skill and wisdom imparted by long experience, which ultimately allows you to get out of your own way in the matter of expressing the music of others. It’s a kind of self-less learning that overcomes the ego – look at me emoting! listen to what marvels of manipulation I’m achieving! – in which so very many other conductors willy-nilly, consciously or not, indulge. Nearing his mid-eighties, Haitink is truly turning into a legend before our very ears, with the whole-hearted support and co-operation of the LSO. I count is as a rare privilege to have attended these two concerts: and I trust there will be many more in future as a significant birthday for the conductor approaches.
We are extraordinarily lucky to have Bernard Haitink conducting so regularly in London. Only a few months ago it was Bruckner's 5th with the Concertgebouw and at this concert it was Bruckner's 7th. He is surely one of the great conductors of our time. The characteristic that most strikes me about him is his integrity. I can't think of an occasion when he's sought his own glory at the expense of the music. Truth to tell he always looks a little embarrased at the acclaim he gets from both players and audiences yet it's an acclaim he richly deserves.
In the event this turned out to be an exceptional concert. The Steven Stucky arrangement of Purcell's 'Funeral Music for Queen Mary' was an imaginative and powerful transcription played very powerfully by the wind, brass and percussion of the LSO.
I had never heard Maria Joao Pires live before and her performance of Mozart's 23rd Piano Concerto was a delight. The slow movement was particularly beautiful and the reduced LSO forces accompanied very attentively.
Haitink conducting Bruckner has been a constant through decades of concert going. I recall that the first time I heard him conduct the Concertgebouw Orchestra it was in Bruckner's 9th at a 1967 Prom. This performance of the 7th was superb. The pulse seemed slightly swifter than I'd heard him adopt in the past but it all hung together coherently. From the beautiful opening of the symphony to its triumphant peroration this was a performance to treasure and I'm looking forward to the Bruckner 9th he'll be conducting in February.
The mozart was lovely,intimate and communicating to the audience about the music rather than proclaiming the pyrotechnical skills of the player as some younger and less feeling practitioners can do.
We enjoyed last nights concert at the Barbican very much. It is wonderful to see Haitink still in great form.
Kathryn Tickell: Northumbrian Voices - Tue 12 Jun 2012
enjoyed the Northumbria concert on wed eve - nice music and anecdotes/poetry - well done!!
Michael Tilson Thomas - Sun 27, Fri 31 May & Sun 3 June 2012
I'm really not one for posting comments about concerts, but I just wanted to express how stunning the orchestra sounded with Michael Tilson Thomas in their focus on Mahler.
I was just a bit too young to catch MTT and the LSO properly when he was Principal Conductor (I think the closest I got to seeing him in that role was during a Stravinsky festival he put together in the late '90s, soon after he had relocated to San Francisco), but I have seen him with the orchestra a number of times since then and am always amazed -and genuinely thrilled - by what he and the LSO achieve together on (presumably) fairly little rehearsal.
These past few concerts dedicated to Mahler have been absolutely no exception, their interpretation of the Fifth Symphony being one of the most intriguing I think many people have heard. True, not everything was necessarily to everyone's tastes, but the reading was so strong and so conscientiously delivered by both conductor and orchestra that you couldn't help but admire the conviction of MTT's insights and beliefs. In short, while other conductors certainly achieve fantastic things with the LSO, MTT seems to have that ability to create a kind of theatre and entertainment in the concert hall that is not only exciting, but always thought-provoking and always supplemented by that palpable and infectious sense of Californian whimsy that's such a welcome addition to London's music-making scene when he's in town.
Thanks so much for a series of stunning concerts.
It was good to see MTT back at the helm of his old orchestra and the audience's enthusiasm was clearly shared by the orchestra. The performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No 5 by Gil Shahan was very fine and the accompaniment by very reduced forces was very elegant.I heard MTT conduct a lot of Mahler with the LSO when he was their Principal Conductor and my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. The performance of Mahler's Symphony No 5 was all one could ask for with both orchestra and conductor on blazing form. Superlative playing in all departments coupled with MTT's firm grip on the whole work ensured that this was one of the finest Mahler Fifth's I've ever heard. I wish now that I'd gone to the other Mahler symphonies Tilson Thomas conducted with the LSO on this visit as I see they got first class reviews. Next time perhaps?
Total magic from the first note till the last. I had wanted to write a letter to Michael Tilson Thomas and the LSO to thank them for giving us an outstanding evening.
His obvious passion for the music was obvious and I found his conducting so clearly illustrative of what is 'behind' this glorious symphony, the huge range of emotions, the exquisite lyricism, the triumphant voice of the instruments..........................brilliant.
Every player contributed to some heart rending passages, which brought tears to my eyes, especially the closing bars which held us all suspended in the shimmering world of Gustav Mahler.
I am passionate about Mahler, go to all London Mahler concerts, and as an artist I have 'painted' over 70 paintings of his music! This performance was by far the best I have ever ever heard of Mahler's First Symphony. Please give my very very great thanks to everyone for giving us all an experience to be treasured forever.
I've been to the LSO concert with conductor Michael Tilson on Sunday 27. It was the best way for me to approach to what we call "Sublime", I saw the power of the music conveyed in each breath of the players.
LSO Chamber Orchestra/Stravinsky Festival, LSO St Luke’s - Thu 17 May 2012
This programme was like taking a guided tour of a beautifully-curated exhibition of an iconic figure’s work but from an unusual perspective. Instead of wandering from room to room taking in images, rich soundscapes materialised in the space before us, through the artistry of the LSO chamber ensemble. Most exciting to get an insight into Stravinsky's creative process and his influence on the development of jazz music. Truly an evening that did 'surprise and inspire'.
Gergiev's Stravinsky Festival - Fri 11 May 2012
Maria Lidia Neghme
I was impressed with the high quality of LSO. Gergiev in the concert of may 11 gave us a dionysiac version of The Firebird. The sound of the orchestra was intense. The audience could thought - " what a great concert I am attending; wonderful sound. "I live in São Paulo, Brazil. Whenever I could I would like to hear the orchestra again.
Debussy/Szymanowski/Scriabin/Eotvos - Sun 29 Apr 2012
Terrific concert on 29th April 2012 at the Barbican, courtesy of the L.S.O & Chorus (women only) under the direction of Peter Eotvos, with violin soloist, Christian Tetzlaff.
First up was Debussy’s ‘Nocturnes,’ three beautifully-wrought sound pictures inspired by the impressionist paintings of the same name, by Whistler. Each of the movements was finely judged, with perhaps Fêtes proving the stand-out, it’s glittering, dancing outer sections flanking a viscerally thrilling central procession which really did convey the notion of a dazzling, fantastic vision. But both the opening Nuages and final Sirènes – with a finely tuned cameo from the ladies of the L.S.O chorus - were expertly delivered as well and the performance as a whole really made you appreciate the wonderful subtleties of Debussy’s skillful orchestration.
Next up was Szymanowski’s 1st Violin Concerto, an extraordinary composition which, I’m delighted to say, has been working its way into mainstream concert repertoire of late. Composed in 1916, it’s a single movement work of beguiling, exotic, other-worldly beauty quite unlike any other. Christian Tetzlaff made light of the fiendishly difficult solo part and it was clear from the outset that he was going to take a fiery approach to the piece, whilst still reveling in the frequent ethereal moments that drifted hazily in the musical stratosphere. The L.S.O under Eotvos gave him delicious support, vividly bringing to life the full array of shimmering colours and textures in the score and proving gloriously overwhelming in their opulent final tutti section following the brief cadenza. And if Tezlaff’s performance couldn’t quite efface memories of that of the incredible Wanda Wilkomirska, who was so at home with the concerto she made it sound improvised, it was none-the-less a glorious achievement. Both he and the orchestra were mightily applauded at the end – and rightly so. Unfortunately, a slightly dodgy stomach meant that I had to flee the auditorium at this point, so I missed Tetzlaff’s encore; but at least I went out on a high.
Concluding proceedings after the interval was Scriabin’s wonderfully OTT Poem of Ecstasy. Scored for huge orchestral forces, the work is made up of relentlessly-shifting motivic cells which cross-pollinate and segue sinuously into each other, creating a cloud of tonally ambiguous chromaticism which, from delicate beginnings, builds to an absolutely shattering climax. Keeping a hold of this seemingly amorphous musical behemoth and the enormous orchestra is a challenge for any conductor, so I’m not being overly critical when I say that Mr Eotvos didn’t quite succeed in bringing it off. The whole thing didn’t feel as organic as it ideally should and there were a few sections where the music would’ve benefitted from being allowed to breathe a bit more - such as the soaring recurring trumpet theme, which felt just a little hasty (although I’m sure it didn’t feel that way to the outstanding players!) – but these are very minor caveats and, overall, it was a suitably spectacular way to end a splendid night of music making and the L.S.O really gave it their all. Bravo to all involved.
N.B: It was also extremely encouraging to see the Barbican hall almost completely sold-out for a concert programme which would’ve been considered, not so long ago, one to frighten the horses.
Weber Der Freischütz - Thu 19 & Sat 21 Apr 2012
This is not a review, just to say that yet again I have been overwhelmed with the brilliance of your orchestra, on my latest visit, and performance of the opera under Davis. Thank you so much all of you for such stupendous artistry and perfection. I always find concert performances of operas superb.
You all worked so hard, and I so appreciate all you do to make every visit to the Barbican such a joy
I'm short of time so haven't yet read the reviews but, in brief, it was magic and Kaspar was, as one critic put it, truly dastardly. Unfortunately, although I had an otherwise excellent seat in the centre of Row H, the surtitles were bisected by Sir Colin's head!
Sir Colin does it again !!
a wonderful night at the Barbican
an amazing, rarely heard work, with
a superb cast, choir and Orchestra
Lars Woldt's performance at short
notice was memorable.
Great Stuff LSO
Tim J Moorey
Apart from parts of the overture (which sounded more like a timpani concerto), I thoroughly enjoyed another wonderful LSO evening. Especially memorable were the LSO chorus on great form and Sir Colin's grip throughout a longer than usual concert. Let's have some rarely heard operas in concert performance please.
Bychkov/Stotijn/Tiffin Boys' Choir/Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus - Mahler, Sun 1 Apr 2012
Nice concert today, horn section fantastic, 1st trumpet outstanding. Love this orchestra. Ladies in the back of the 1st violins should try to smile to the audience after the concert.
Frühbeck de Burgos/Ibragimova - Glinka/Mendelssohn/Rimsky-Korsakov, 25 Mar 2012
We thought the Scheherazade was sumptuous and the soloists wonderful. As an amateur cellist I particularly enjoyed tht part. Alina was great considering she was dragged in off the street. I could tell she'd played it before. Joking - no, I thought there was incredible feeling in her interpretation and it is of course a very demanding piece in terms of technique and stamina. Congratulations to them all!
Gillian and Paul Gee
Ibragimova is a superb violinist. She was always good, but has improved greatly since we last saw her quite some time ago. She certainly surpassed the vast majority of other violinists, and moved us greatly (this doesn't happen often...)
We have rarely heard anyone play so expressively both musically and otherwise.
The orchestra was, as ever, superbly led by the wonderful Carmine Lauri.
Can we see Ibragimova again, please, without a long wait?
Ticciati/Maltman - Strauss/Mahler/Brahms, 15 Mar 2012
I found the first part of this concert deeply moving. The juxtaposition of the Strauss with Mahler's Songs was demanding for musicians and audience alike, I think. Christopher Maltman's singing was superb.
To hear and witness this great orchestra playing Brahms 2 was awe -inspiring. I am sure the musicians could play this in their sleep! Thank you LSO for a wonderful evening of music.
My concert going dates back to my student days in Paris. Later in life, in London or in Paris, I either choose a concert because of the musician, or because of the composer. Last week I was just thrilled to bits. It was a wonderful experience as it was the first time I heard the LSO. I found the orchestra vibrant, with a brass section particularly colourful and the wind section intense. As far as I could see, Robin Ticciati was passionately conducting every musician with his baton and seeming to pull invisible strings to which they responded brilliantly.
Gergiev/Chang - Britten/Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky, 23 Feb 2012
Just want to say what a fabulous concert last night with the fantastic Orchestra, Valery Gergiev and Sarah Chang. I re-found Tchaikovsky and watched Sarah with amazement, such technic. Glorious sound, thoroughly enjoyable and completely up lifting.
Sarah Chang brought the house down. Cheers, 'Bravo's and even some audience members standing. All were well deserved. She performed Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.1 with such drama, passion and technique. For those who ask themselves 'What's the hardest violin concerto?' The Shostakovich is definitely up there. Movements 2 and 4 were relentless for the soloist, giving her little time to mop her, understandably, moist brow; the heat added by a custom-made, dazzling emerald sequin dress which, Sarah told a few of us backstage, she only received the day before!
The LSO itself was truly on form; together, energetic and uniform. The woodwind section particularly stood out, with the bassoon solos and flute-heavy passages. Having not seen the LSO perform before, I was surprised at their European layout (lower strings next to and behind the firsts, with violas and seconds on the right), but it didn't depreciate the sound they made.
Gergiev, however, was another kettle of fish! Having read raving reviews about his conducting as well as knowing about his awards etc., my expectations going in were high. He didn't meet them. His conducting style is that of a wounded bird with a tick. His arms stay close to his body with just his hands moving; the right of which twitches constantly. If this wasn't distressing enough to see, we then had to sit through him making noises. Loud wet exhalations which, somehow, carried throughout the Barbican. Distracting strangled sounds coming from his throat made it seem sometimes like an off-key singer was 'Aaah'ing' the melodies somewhere. His lack of familiarity with the programme in the first half was made evident by his reluctance to look up from the score and to engage with the orchestra. It was only in the second half with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6 that we saw how comfortable (yet no less twitchy or loud) he can be as a conductor.
Gergiev/Matsuev - Tchaikovsky/Prokofiev/Shostakovich, 21 Feb 2012
Dear Valery Gergiev, the LSO, Denis Matsuev and all involved, I’d like to congratulate you all on the concert last night. Not only were the performances of Prokofiev’s 3rd piano concerto, and Shostakovich 5th Sympathy magnificent - the tension building 3rd movement breathtaking, but that of Tchaikovsky’s Overture for Romeo and Juliet was a revelation. Rid of all cliché or received knowledge/hearing from its ubiquity it became a powerful, moving and at times even sinister work - splendid stuff - thank you so much.
I was feeling quite ill on the day and so it was an effort to get from Maidenhead to the Barbican. It was only because my brother was coming up from Stroud to hear the concert with me that I made that effort and boy, was it worth it. The orchestra was on top form and Denis Matsuev's performance was mesmerising. Afterwards we remarked that this was one of the best concerts we've ever attended, and we've been coming to see the LSO two or three times a year for about the last ten years. Congratulations all round.
Järvi/Daniels - Adams/Copland/Bernstein/Ellington/Milhaud, 9 Feb 2012
Andy Skinner and Pat Griggs
A Big Thank You! We really enjoyed the jazz-inspired concert last night (9 Feb) at the Barbican. It is so good to see/hear such an original programme, that is both very interesting and thoroughly entertaining! Good to get away from the traditional classical fare every so often. Seeing these pieces – which we already know well, and love, from recordings – in live performances gives them a whole new dimension. How fascinating the smaller ensemble for ‘Creation du Monde’ is, for example - and how amazing the huge forces for ‘Harlem’ and ‘on the Town’. Eddie Daniels was splendid too – whether in Copland, Bernstein or ‘Berkeley Square’!
And the programme advertisement has led us to the LSO St Luke’s Website for the Stravinsky Jazz Evening in May. St Luke’s is somewhere we have yet to go to…
I would just like to let you know that I have updated my Facebook status to:
"Kristjan Jarvi (conductor) & Eddie Daniels (clarinet) & LSO @ Barbican last night: Bernstein, Copland, and Ellington. The best orchestral concert I have ever been to."
I enjoyed the Eddie Daniels concert last night but I was surprised by a poor arrangement of Bernstein's Prelude Fugue and Riffs. The opening statement sounded feeble and robbed of all it's impact on strings. The fugue lacked the tone colours a saxophone section is able to produce. Why employ a world class saxophone section for Harlem and not use them for the Bernstein?
The program notes made no mention of the arrangement and even commenented on the saxophone parts.
I love the Prelude Fugue and Riffs and the chance to hear it played by Eddie Daniels was amazing but I am surprised that the LSO choose a poor arrangement over the real thing.
Tilson Thomas/Von Otter - Debussy/Weill , 2 Feb 2012
I loved the programme. The contrast of the shifting world that Debussy creates and the harsh, hard world of Weil was really interesting. I'll be honest; I'm not the greatest Debussy fan kin the World, but M.T.T. whipped up a storm in 'La Mer'. I was totally involved. The L.S.O. on glittering form. You sense a real bond with this conductor. Anne- Sophie Von Otter got it just right. Hot and cold together..
A really thought provoking evening. Thankyou.
Pappano/Tamestit - Adès/Walton/Elgar, 9 January (Warwick) & 10 January (Barbican) 2012
I also would like to say that I went to see the London Symphony Orchestra at the Warwick art centre on the 09/01/12 EXCELLENT, I am a double bass player and were I was sitting just above the basses was fantastic I went home feeling really pleased and happy
The performance of Elgar’s First Symphony was spine-tingling and worthy in every way of the five star review in The Times. Thank you so much for giving us a very special shared memory.
I have just listened for the second time to Sir Antonio Pappano and the LSO's recent broadcast from the Barbican of Elgar 1, and must say I was utterly transported. Lyrical passages of luminous intensity which I had simply missed before, particularly in the second movement; Sir Antonio really made them sing!
Hard to believe he only conducted this work for the first time in Warwick this week. So PLEASE can we have a recording of Elgar 1 by Pappano and the LSO in the near future. I for one would love to hear what insights he and the LSO could bring to the wonderful slow movement of Elgar 2; how about including the second symphony in a future concert?
Nielsen Symphony No 2, 4 & 6 Dec 2011
I've long enjoyed Sir Colin's recordings of Haydn's "London" symphonies and so it's been a real pleasure to hear him performing some of them live. Symphony No 98 was no exception and was a delightful start to the concert. I'm running out of superlatives to describe Mitsuko Uchida's Beethoven (and other) performances with the LSO. The 4th Piano Concerto was wonderful. She has a wonderful mix of power and poetry and an attractive sense of humour. Her playing frequently makes me smile. Her own pleasure in her music-making is very apparent. The other thing to note is the rapport between her and the orchestra. I don't think I've ever seen another soloist who watches and listens to the orchestra and individual players quite so intently. I'm looking forward to tonight's performance of the "Emperor" with keen anticipation.
The performance of the Emperor by Mitsuko Uchida was fantastic and the LSO's performance was outstanding. The Emperor is my favourate piece of music and I have watched it several times. I can truly say that this was the performance I enjoyed the most (even though I had to listen to Nielsen's symphony, which is not my type of music).
Mitsuko Uchida gives us so much more than music - her tiny frame almost jumps off the piano stool at the ferocity with which her hands can pound the keyboard, and moments later she is holding the entire audience suspended between her thumbs and forefingers with the subtlety and sensuality she can find a few delicate notes. Passion, joy, profundity - lend her your ears and she will give you your heart...thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have been lucky enough to hear three Nielsen cycles in my life- Bryden Thomson with the RSNO in Edinburgh, Osmo Vanska with the BBCSO in Glasgow and now with the LSO and Davies. All three orchestras and conductors are to be congratulated for doing the symphonies as a complete series. It is fascinating to hear the composer's development as interpreted by the individual conductor. I managed down from Edinburgh for four of the series-5,4,2 &3 and look forward to the other two on LSO live. Of the whole cycle no3 is my favourite. I was thus pleased that it came last and what a performance! The energy and propulsion of the music was overwhelming in this performance. Despite the strong competition form last week's no2 it was the most compelling performance of any symphony I have heard this year. Sir Colin and the orchestra have done a great service to the under rated composer of a series amongst the finest composed in the 20th Century. Thank for such a rewarding musical experience.
GREAT concert last night. Colin Davis and the LSO is the dream team for me; total respect from him to his orchestra and, of course, from them to him. The start of the Nielsen 3 was electrifying, like a bullet from a gun. We loved every minute, every moment of the evening.
Artist Portrait: Anne-Sophie Mutter, 30 Nov 2011
Mrs Karin Pierce
I always find - and certainly did so on this occasion – Anne-Sophie Mutter's playing absolutely fascinating. Not only is she able to produce the purest sounds on her instrument, completely surrendering to whatever piece of music she is performing at any time, but she is also such a joy to behold: a wonderful example of poise, elegance and serenity enhanced by a certain modesty.
Artist Portrait: Anne-Sophie Mutter, 27 Nov 2011
Valery Gergiev and the LSO musicians performing Shostakovich 10th last night took me somewhere beyond happiness, beyond pleasure, beyond perfection...I think it is called ''Heaven".
Owen Cox (From Ibstock Place School)
Just to say we had a great experience at the LSO concert last week – our numbers dwindled slightly because of illness, but those who came were blown away by the Tchaikovsky – as was I, which I didn’t think was possible, having played in professional orchestras myself before this job and got to the usual amount of cynicism about playing Tchaikovsky! Anyway, can’t wait for the next one - Hopefully we’ll have a trip in February.
BBC R3 Beethoven Piano Sonata series: Elisabeth Leonskaja, 10 Nov 2011
I just wanted to say how fantastic the BBC lunchtime concert was yesterday. I would really like to know what she played for the encore at the end if possible!
UBS Soundscapes: Eclectica The North, 8 Nov 2011
Very much enjoyed the concert yesterday by the Norwegian artist and the wind ensemble - v interesting… and ingenious!! - I think the audience enjoyed things v much too! - Well done to all concerned.
Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake & Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, 4 & 6 November 2011
Elisabeth van Houts
Thank you so much for providing the students and myself with such a fantastic evening in the Barbican last night. The organisation was perfect and we received some lovely programmes as well (importantly with the texts of the lyrics). The music was wonderful and the backdrop of Dreyer’s black and white silent film was absolutely fantastic. All we had seen was the film on computer screen which cannot compare with a full screen ‘cinema’ setting. And it was an extra bonus to have Richard Einhorn, the composer, there as well. We are most grateful for such a lovely treat.
I was thrilled when I discovered that Marin Alsop was to present this event. The Honegger cantata is a rarity inLondon's concert halls and I can only think of two performances in my concert going lifetime and I can't imagine a better performance than the one Marin Alsop conducted on the 4th November.
The second event was the showing of Dreyer's great film "The Passion of Joan of Arc". I've seen this film on several occasions with live musical accompaniment but never heard it done with Richard Einhorn's score before. Magnificent. My companion had never seen the film before and was completely bowled over by it. We both thought that Einhorn's score fitted the film like a glove and the performance was an extraordinarily powerful one. Thank you Marin Alsop and the LSO for a terrrific artistic weekend. Silent cinema when properly projected at the right speed in a good print accompanied by live music is a fantastic experience and I hope that the LSO might consider doing more in the future.
Lorene M. Birden
The first concert. An orchestra playing interesting and original music. Wonderful singing voices, especially that rich alto. Fascinating talk at St Luke’s. Magnificent score and performance for the Dreyer film, with an execution scene that I couldn't watch a second time.
The Film Music of Dmitri Tiomkin, 27 Oct 2011
I thought that the Tiomkin concert was first class and the enthusiasm of the audience will, I hope, help convince those responsible for future programmes that there is is great interest in events of this sort. Whilst I am pleased to learn about concerts of modern, popular film scores such as those from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Schindler's List etc., earlier movie music such as Tiomkin's is played too rarely. As such, this was the best film score concert since John Wilson's Tribute to Hollywood's Golden Age at the Barbican last January. I hope we hear many more of them.
LSO Discovery Family Concert: Music from the Movies, 16 Oct 2011
I took a group of boys from my school to the LSO family concert on Sunday and I wanted to say what a thrill it was. Our children were aged 8-13 and many of them had never seen an orchestra live before - although they all play orchestral instruments. I wish you could have seen their faces when the orchestra started. They were enthralled for the full hour of the concert and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was wonderful for them to hear and see the timpani, they all watched out for their own instruments and it was great for them to see how things fitted into the orchestral sound. Thank you so much for running these events. It is so important and really helps children who play instruments to continue to be inspired and motivated. Thank you for me it was one of my favourite moments and we will definitely come again!
Thank you for inviting me through your e-mail to give you feedback about last Sunday’s concert. We have been attending the concerts for years with our three children who are 9, 7 and 5. We always enjoy them and found the latest one extremely well run and loved the clip of King Kong with three different soundtracks! All of Paul Rissmann’s presentations are outstanding and his enthusiasm is contagious! We all look forward to the next concert!
Loved it - missed the pre concert event but the concert was great - the children's choir was lovely!!
Alexandra de Sousa
My kids and I really loved the LSO family concert last weekend! We did all the activities as well, from 10 AM. We will be back for more!
Britten’s War Requiem, 9 Oct 2011
Given that I consider Britten’s magnum opus one of the greatest (perhaps the greatest) classical work of the 20th century I was full of expectation, which was fully realised. This Barbican performance was the most satisfying and moving I have ever experienced. The soprano, soaring out of the front centre of the chorus in both the Libera me and Rex tremendae, was superb. Both the male soloists gave articulate accounts of the Wilfred Owen poems – it was hardly necessary to glance at the libretto. Both the orchestra and chorus were perfection and the conductor showed complete mastery with an energetic performance. Nice one.
Thank you for your email including the reviews of Sunday's memorable and moving performance of the War Requiem. The entire day was an inspiration, and the performance of the War Requiem was simply sublime! Thank you again, and congratulations to you all!
Gianandrea Noseda conducted a thrilling performance. Both orchestra and chorus were in splendid form and I must add a special word of praise for the Eltham College trebles who provided ethereal sounds from the back of the balcony. I always find it difficult listening to other soloists because I always associate the work with the singers on Britten's own recording of the piece. But both Ian Bostridge and Simon Keenlyside were excellent. The soloist who bowled me over was the soprano Sabina Cvilak who sang most beautifully and rose effortlessly above the fray. The final moments of the work with everyone joining in with "Let us sleep now" was deeply moving. A terrific concert.
Nielsen Symphony No 1, 2 Oct 2011
I've long enjoyed Sir Colin's performances of Haydn's symphonies so I was looking forward to hearing No. 92. I was not disappointed and the finale in particular struck me as sheer delight. It was a pleasure to hear Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto. A lovely performance by Uchida accompanied most sensitively by the orchestra. There was a wonderful rapport between soloist, orchestra and conductor. I've lost count now of how many times I've heard her play with the LSO under Sir Colin but each time it has been a very special occasion.
XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition Gala, 21 Sep 2011
What absolute sheer bliss! How lucky are we to be able to hear and see such talented musicians as featured on 21 September. I had actually booked to see Valery Gergiev conduct, having seen him conducting something on BBC4, and was fascinated that the music seemed to run through his veins. Each winner was exceptional, though for me the cellist was the absolute icing on the cake. His 'conversation' with the orchestra was charming and seemed so natural – almost as though an acknowledgement of the importance of the orchestra's input. A brilliant evening – I could go again and again!
This was an outstanding evening for me!! It would be cruel to distinguish one performance above others, because all were fantastic. I think that Valery Gergiev is the absolute master at bringing the best out of this wonderful orchestra. The music just courses through his
hands!! I must confess to a bias for the pianist, with greatest respect to the other
soloists. Trifinov displays power, delicacy and understanding, with the greatest ease. I have been listening to the Tchaikovsky No.1 for over 30 years and have never heard a better performance. I wait, with great anticipation, for future performances featuring this young man.
First of all I would like to thank Barbican for the wonderful service. I was really impressed and it was such an improvement compared to previous years. It is hard to describe how much I enjoyed the concert. Being a foreigner (I have moved to theUKfromNovosibirsk,Russia) I still can’t believe how easily everyone can attend the live concert of one of the best world’s orchestras. Also, I am very pleased that my dream to see legendary maestro Gergiev has come true. It was a great pleasure to listen to Hakhnazaryan’s performance. I totally agree with the Guardian review. He was “The brightest star of the evening” He is so talented and he played so beautifully. I was also intrigued to listen to Trifonov’s interpretation of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 and I would like to attend his concert in the near future.
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4, 25 Sep 2011
I agree with Classical Source. Decided to attend on the day. Got caught in traffic, and would have missed the start if it had been on time. So was much relieved and very pleased. Both pieces were splendid and I liked Gergiev's lively and committed performances very much indeed - as before. Freire's interpretation was one of the very best (if not the best) that I have heard, and the cello solo was outstanding. The orchestra's playing throughout was uplifting and brilliant. I heard bits of Tchaikowsky I have never heard before. (I try to avoid superlatives.) Thank you to all the performers.
G Live Guildford opening concert, 24 Sep 2011
I was in the audience for your Tchaikovsky concert at G-live on Saturday and I was absolutely amazed at how you guys performed during the blackout! It was a shame it happened of course but it was also a pleasure to experience because it just showed how amazing you guys are. That's why you're the best orchestra in the world - you can play in the dark!
I will never forget that. Well done all of you.
i'm resident in Manchester, a trained pianist and violinist. My husband and I were visiting my brother in Surrey this weekend, and attended the concert at the new GLive venue. I found the R and J Overture very moving, and was impressed by the venue. When the lighting failed during the first movement of the piano concerto, we were amazed at the way both the soloist and orchestra continued for at least ten minutes with nil or limited lighting. Well done to all!
Thank you to the LSO for the performance in Guildford yesterday evening. I am sure you are well aware of how the audience felt when the orchestra "played on" during the power failure. True professionalism!
XIV Tchaikovsky International Competition winners' gala, 21 Sep 2011
This was an outstanding evening for me!! It would be cruel to distinguish one performance above others, because all were fantastic.
I think that Valeri Gergiev is the absolute master at bringing the best out of this wonderful orchestra. The music just courses through his hands!!
I must confess to a bias for the Piano, with greatest respect to the other soloists. Trifinov displays power, delicacy and understanding, with the greatest ease. I have been listening to the Tchaikovsky No.1 for over 30yrs and have never heard a better performance. I wait, with great anticipation, for future performances featuring this young man.
What absolute sheer bliss! How lucky are we to be able to hear and see such talented musicians as featured on 21 September. I had actually booked to see Valery Gergiev conduct, having seen him conducting something on BBC4, and was fascinated that the music seemed to run through his veins. Each winner was exceptional, though for me the cellist was the absolute icing on the cake. His 'conversation' with the orchestra was charming and seemed so natural – almost as though an acknowledgement of the importance of the orchestra's input. A brilliant evening – I could go again and again
Thank you, Thank you Thank you for the superb concert last night. Tchaik prize winners were hugely worth the journey- not to mention LSO and Maestro Gergiev. As for Daniil T-roll over Franz Liszt.
BBC Proms (Prom 67), 4 Sep 2011
Awesome, cathartic, spiritually questionning, demanding (on audience and performers alike - although the wonderful Chorus deserves a medal for what it is asked to do) - did I say I enjoyed it?!
What a concert, what a performance,undoundtably a highlight of the Proms season - and there has been a few.
Beautifully played, Colin Davis' vision of hope and of doubt was very powerfully realised.
As I said before - awesome.