LSO with Alice Sara Ott and Pappano: Total Liszt
I took the picture from Tristram Kenton for the Guardian to illustrate this review because it describes perfectly how the first part of the concert was. Alice Sata Ott is a young modern super star, trendy on fashion and social media. But instead of coming here to do her thing as a star she focused on making music and making it together with a joyful London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Antonio Pappano.
Of course she played with enormous virtuosity Liszt Totentanz but she also took special care in doing in perfect synchrony and communion with every other soul that night on the stage. And that was a very rewarding experience for the whole audience.
Before that the concert was opened with Sciarrino orchestration of Liszt Sposalizio. A nice work but a little bit out of context.
Second part of the concert was a wonderful performance of the Faust Symphony. This post-romantic repertoire fits pretty well to Pappano and the orchestra was splendid. The choir and Brenden Gunnell sang well on their short contribution during the last movement.
After listening to Pappano two nights in a row in two very different context I keep thinking that his departure from the Royal Opera House is going to be a good thing for both. He could focus more on the non-operatic repertoire and broaden it. And the ROH orchestra will get out of its current comfort zone and will be more open to external influences and improvements.