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.
This was the second collaboration between the Spanish pianist Javier Perianes and the BBC Symphony Orchestra after 2017 Prom 51. This time was even better because the good work done by the young conductor James Feddeck. The American took much care to perfectly align the orchestra with Perianes in the Ravel piano concerto in G. The performance had the perfect balance between lyricism and the jazz influenced rhythm games. Before that we enjoyed a not so frequent Barber 1st symphony.
Top pieces from the French impressionism repertoire in this programme conducted by the young and brilliand Spaniard Pablo Heras-Casado. Presenting works so well known is risky because everyone in the audience know them very well and have favorite way of playing them. Being Heras-Casado a conductor who likes to explore different paths (like his HIP orchestras collaborations) we could have expected a more radical approach to this works. However we got a very traditional french-way of playing in this matiné concert.
Double interest on this BBC Symphony Orchestra: a first part full of interesting and not so frequent work and the continuation of Sibelius symphonic cycle by Sakari Oramo. And result were quite good. Florent Schmitt Symphony No.2 is a very interesting work, mixing the modern music feeling with the traditional tonality easiness. The rich percussion writing was perfect to showcase an orchestra in its best and a conductor that feels like in home while exposing this rhythm structures.
What a nice evening! We were celebrating London Sinfonietta 50th anniversary with a informal conversation with David Atherton, Nicholas Snowman and John Constable, founders of the London Sinfonietta presented by Fiona Maddocks and a short concert showcasing composers and works from the early years of the Sinfonietta programmes. The conversation was delightful. One hour full of stories and anecdotes about their early years, how they did things, how they had fun and how hard they worked championing contemporary music in context of the greatest works from the 20th century.