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.
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.
It took me longer than expected to write the review about last Saturday performance of Gurrelieder by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by its new principal conductor Simon Rattle. I had to think about it. Not only the performance but also the work, its meaning and its implications. Let’s go first with the actual performance of it. The orchestra playing was brutally brilliant: technical perfection and supreme discipline following Mr. Rattle indications.