London Philharmonic Orchestra: Trifonov and Jurowski do dark Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky
Full house night at the Royal Festival Hall to listen to the new hot guy, Daniil Trifonov, before he is coming to London to do a residency next year with the LSO.
The piano star playing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 was the selling point but the main point of the programme, framed into the Stravinsky cycle the LPO is doing this year, was a couple non-mainstream works: Stravinsky arrangement of a couple of rare numbers from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty (plus a famous one) and Stravinsky own ballet The Fairy’s Kiss.
The Sleeping Beauty numbers were interesting, showing how smart was Stravinsky in his austere orchestration. Superb playing from all the orchestra sections.
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 was an example of a very collaborative playing between soloist and conductor. Clearly a good amount of rehearsal and playing had been done before. Trifonov opening was forceful, and Jurowski took care of not overwhelming his sound with the orchestra. The remarkable achievement was how they both agreed from different positions: while Trifonov was more focused on getting a very beautiful and cantabile sound Jurowski was more into bringing unusual details to the foreground (like some flute playing, for example) while keeping a dark sound profile. Surprisingly this conflict worked well and was very enjoyable.
In the second part, with Jurowski alone, things went different. He took very seriously a work that might not be that serious. He spent the more than 40 minutes that The Fairy’s Kiss lasts injecting tension into the musical speech, with growing dynamics and never relaxing. At the end this ended up as a exhausting listening experience that, maybe, was to much for the audience.