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.
This was the second Diana Damrau London visit in two weeks, this time to sing Strauss Four Last Songs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Antonio Pappano. But before that we got an interesting performance of Elgar Alassio. Even if the work is supposed to be Italy inspired it doesn’t really sound Italian. However it is an interesting musical piece showing Elgar mastery on orchestral color. Pappano remarked the work lightness which fit well as a prelude to Strauss music.
Another snowy day in London and another super concert. And this came as a surprise: I hadn’t listened before to Vasily Petrenko neither to Sergej Krylov. The selling point for me for this concert was the two suites from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, one of my favorite works. First work, first surprise: Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, a work that can sound too naive if played focusing on the neo-classical aspects of it acquired a totally new dimension under Petrenko baton.
Overall this was a good concert. Mikhail Agrest conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra with a good sense of the Russian tradition, not as dark as Jurowski but still incisive and steep. Opening with Khachaturian’s Adagio from Spartacus was not a good preamble, as the work it quite boring and doesn’t work well out of context. The young Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin took the stage to perform a very nice Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.
Ute Lemper + Monty Python + RuPaul’s Drag Race = Meow Meow. This could be a definition of what the Australian artist is: a mix of classical, Weill, Piazzolla, Ferrer and Gainsbourg music in Cabaret style with a lot of humor, performance and provocation. Doing a show with a big orchestra as the London Philharmonic Orchestra is hard you want to keep it fresh. Because you cannot really improvise if you need 80 musicians to follow you but you cannot either keep it to rigid that sounds like a classical music concert.
London Philharmonic Orchestra 3rd concert of its London season. It was a very interesting programme with an unusual coupling: Beethoven 3rd piano concerto and Rossini Stabat Mater. The originally announced conductor, LPO Principal Guest Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, was long time ago replaced by Carlos Miguel Prieto. But another last-time (24 hours before the concert) replacement happened: Hannes Minnaar, the young rising star pianist, withdrew for family reasons and got replaced by a younger rising star: Frank Dupree
Opening the season with a non very known opera by a non very popular here Romanian composer was a risky venture. Probably the most audacious from the London big five (LSO added the Enigma to its only English opening to make it more pleasant to classic audiences). And it went well. Very well. The concert at the Royal Festival Hall was a reprise of the one they did at Enescu Festival in Bucharest earlier this month, just with more rehearsals.
All Russian composers, except for the Britten but all Russian themed works. Beforehand it was a very interesting programme with new (as newly heard) works, works of stunning beauty, not-so-frequent-works and spectacular works that are better listened live. It started with Stravinsky’s Funeral Song, one work just rediscovered and “premiered” less than one year ago in Russia. It was a very nice work, less stravinskian than expected and maybe too academic but full of great ideas.