Prom 66: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Daniele Gatti: Haydn’s 82th & Mahler’s 4th
This review is going to be full of rants. So let me enumerate them:
1: Best orchestra in the world
According to British musical press Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is the best orchestra in the world. Yeah, I known that the panel for such ranking was international… but it was selected by a British medium. WTF. Because maybe choosing Berlin Philharmonic or Vienna Philharmonic or even Chigago SO was too mainstream they decided that the best one was the RCO. Well, they clearly it is not, definitely is in the top-10 but not the top one as we will see later.
2: Gatti as a top level conductor
Gatti. That is this hype everywhere about Gatti? I have seen him a couple of times and listened to many recordings and, well, he is a good conductor but definitely not a top-10 one. Not at all. It looks like British audience loves him because he put the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra back on the top tier.
3: Conducting from memory
Yeah, Gatti conducted from memory. And what is the point? Again much hype about that, like it that alone would make the performance better. Here in the UK is the only place I have seen that as a selling point, like the Aurora orchestra playing from memory as the best thing ever. It reminds me the joke “look mum no hands”. Wait, that here in London that is not a joke…
4: The Bear
Ok, stop using Haydn silly names. Seriously, they are pointless. I am a numbers guy. Give me the number. Tell me 93 and I’ll known that is one of the London Symphonies, tell me 86 and I will know that is one of the Paris Symphonies. So please, call this 82th. Thanks
5: The Haydn performance
What a disaster. The opening movement was an ugly rush, like nobody on the stage was believing there was good music on it. The Alegretto was much better, maybe too slow but that is how Gatti can show his virtues. Menuet and Finale were again boring and soulless. With a couple of mistakes from the orchestra. Wow.
Not so rant
Ok, the Mahler’s 4th was good. Not the best one in earth but good. Percussion played with crystal transparency and woodwind was brilliant. Again the slow parts were the best. Major problem was the lack of planning. Crescendi happened in a rush, without a natural tension flow expansion. And that is quite important in Mahler. So performance was ok-ish but non transcendental at all. Missed opportunity. We will have another chance next november with BBC SO and Storgårds and next February with Philharmonia and Shani (with again Chen Reiss singin the final part)