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.
There were many special things in this concert. The programme included the two main work for clarinet quintet: those by Mozart and Brahms. It was not the usual established string quartet joined by an external clarinetist but all were “external” and friends joining for this concert. There were also two additional short pieces added the to announced programme. But they were not given as encores but as prefaces to the two main works.
After missing the only-English season opening of the London Symphony Orchestra this was to me the real season opening. This was the courageous programme: a work that has been part of the orchestra glorious tradition and one of its peaks with Colin Davis recording. Two changes from the announced cast: One month ago Florian Boesch was replaced by Gábor Bretz as Brander. Not a big deal as it the shortest role One week ago Gerald Finley was replaced by Christopher Purves.