I was excited about this concert. The programme opened with some unknown Janáček (composer that I love so much!) work, followed by one of my fav piano concertos (Bartók 3rd) played by a pianist that impressed me on his last Mozart concert at Wigmore Hall last October: Franceso Piemontesi. Having a solid conductor as Mark Elder was also a guarantee. So far so good. Elder introduced Janáček Schluck und Jau final and unfinished work from the podium.
Very nice intentions from Simon Rattle programming this forgotten Genesis Suite. And it was intelligent pairing it with a easy and loved work as Bartók concerto for orchestra. A suite with music by Schoenberg, Shilkret, Tansman, Milhaud, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Toch and Stravinsky looks pretty amazing on the paper. However the suite has some very big problems. Not all the music is so inspired and actually, a lot of if was lost (anything but Shoenberg and Stravinsky) and only reconstructed by Patrick Russ, (and I’m quoting from a not so prominent text in the digital programme) two from still tentative manuscripts and three from severely condensed sketches with only one or two musical lines and only vague instrumentation indications.
This was a sold out concert at Wigmore Hall. Not sure if it was because of the interesting 20th century programme, because of the two famous soloists, because of the glamour of one of them or because of the kink of seeing together two very different personalities. I was in because all of those and because I enjoyed their previous visits to London. Wang belongs to this class of technically perfect pianists.
Typical structure of fucking-scaring-new-work + not-so-easy-repertoire + classical-easy-hit. But the fucking-scaring-new-work, Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), as expected from an enfant terrible as Missy Mazzoli with her PJ Harvey look, was not scaring at all. Actually was much more conservative and traditional than expected. It was also nice full of very interesting composition ideas. Only downside, as many contemporary composers, Mazzoli was trying to do a full showcase of all her composing abilities, stealing from the work some coherence and narrative speech.