BBC Symphony Orchestra with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Sakari Oramo: Schmitt, Franck, Ravel and Sibelius 3rd symphony
Double interest on this BBC Symphony Orchestra: a first part full of interesting and not so frequent work and the continuation of Sibelius symphonic cycle by Sakari Oramo. And result were quite good.
Florent Schmitt Symphony No.2 is a very interesting work, mixing the modern music feeling with the traditional tonality easiness. The rich percussion writing was perfect to showcase an orchestra in its best and a conductor that feels like in home while exposing this rhythm structures. But also Oramo did a wonderful job on the slow movement, very emotional. We need to have more Schmidt music evey year!
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet took the stage to perform César Franck Symphonic Variations. Again a magnificent work not so popular. And this could have been the biggest problem of this performance: when a pianist has not performed enough times a concerto-like piece is more difficult for him to adjust his playing to what the orchestra is doing differently every time. And we have seen already how Oramo has problems blending the orchestra and the soloist… so this was a problematic performance with considerable adjustment troubles.
Things went better in Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. Probably two reasons for this: Bavouzet knows the work better and also the way it is written makes clear differences between soloist and orchestra, being interconnected as a dialog and not so much as a joint texture. This time Oramo was clearly marking every piano entrance and things went perfectly. A lot of passion in this music full of effect that might not be the most perfectly one written by Ravel but always a big pleasure to listen.
The second part was the next stop of this year Sibelius journey. This time it was the 3rd symphony. We listened to a very detailed performance with Oramo at his best: energy mixed with delicacy and exposing every single detail in the music. Superb!