Second (and last this year) concert of Gardiner Schumann cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra. The initial programmed Schumann piano concerto was dropped long time ago as Maria Joao Pires is retiring. Replacement was a Mozart piano concerto by Piotr Anderszewski that didn’t make that much sense in the context of the cycle. However, Anderszewski got the flu and he got replaced by Isabelle Faust playing Schumann own violin concerto, that was much more suited. So at the end, a win.

The concert opened quite late because the timpanist was late. We had however Gardiner and Faust on stage talking about the violin concerto and it was interesting and funny.

When the timpanist arrived the orchestra operned with Overture, Scherzo and Finale and interesting work full of nice ideas but not developed as well as Schumann symphonies. It was played a little bit cold.

The violin concerto, kind of a neglected work, was a total treat. Faust masters this work and was able to join the LSO in a short notice for the Paris and London concerts. Gardiner guided the orchestra to match her sound perfectly: controlled vibrato and very varied dynamic levels that helped a lot to get Faust amazing diminuendi a pianissimo playing to fill the whole house with incredible results.

The second part (after a unnecessary repeat of Genoveva overture played also last week) was a gap-less performance of Schumann 4th symphony. Again very well played, although maybe not as revealing as the 2nd last week.