London Symphony Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth interesting young Debussy
This programme by the London Symphony Orchestra was quite interesting, not only because it was the first time an early work by Debussy was played in the UK but also because it linked this young Debussy with other composers that influenced his early days. Everything served by two French men: François-Xavier Roth conducting and the young Edgar Moreau playing the cello.
The concert started with Tannhäuser overture that is always a good way to start. And we listened to it in a very French style, almost like a dance (and was a joy watching Roth jumping over the podium!). You might agree with this approach or not, but the thing is that this was the music and the way it sounded the one who influenced Debussy, so it was totally appropriate. And very enjoyable.
Lalo cello concerto is on the second tier of the cello repertoire, not the most brilliant but full of nice tunes. And Edgar Moreau accounted this by playing his cello trying to get the most beautiful sounds possible while keeping a clear and perfect playing on the most difficult passages. Specially beautiful were the ritornellos he played.
Opening the second part was the central work of the programme: Debussy Première Suite. We can understand why it was lost and mostly forgotten: it has nothing to do with the later Debussy in terms of inspiration and orchestration excellence. However it was quite interesting to listen to it, even more in the context of the other composers.
To close the evening some fun and joy with Massenet Suite from Le Cid. Dancing pieces with Spanish inspiration that Roth got into perfect and stylish playing and never sounded dumb or easy, just enjoyable.