Rafael Payarre playing Strauss with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: nobody missed Dutoit

Rafael Payarre debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was not an easy gig. Replacing Charles Dutoit, who has stepped down as principal conductor of the orchestra for the infamous reasons we all know, put extra pressure on. Dutoit only two concerts during RPO 2017/2018 season were the only two ones scheduled to happen in the Royal Festival Hall instead of in the smalled Cadogan Hall because his name used to attract more audience.

Continue reading

Matthäus-Passion with the OAE (un)conducted by Mark Padmore: missed opportunity

This Passion by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was announced as conducted by Mark Padmore and that was not fully true. Maybe he conducted during the rehearsals, maybe the idea and conception of the performance was his but he was not conducting anything during the public performance. It’s ok to have a chamber orchestra without conductor, and many baroque ensembles rely on the continuo players to get tempi indications and attacks.

Continue reading

Philharmonia Orchestra with Abduraimov and Ashkenazy: great Prokofiev and interesting soviet propaganda music

Interesting concert showing some almost forgotten and forgettable soviet music along with proper hits. Mosolov The Iron Foundry opened the concert as a small wink to the repetitive American composers who think that they invented something with the musical minimalism. No, it was already done as we can hear in this less than 4 minute piece. Ashkenazy put the Philharmonia in clockwork mode and everything worked fine. Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.

Continue reading

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Trifonov and Jurowski do dark Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky

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.

Continue reading

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Strauss Four Last Songs and Brahms 2nd by Diana Damrau and Pappano

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.

Continue reading

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Joy and sorrow with Sergej Krylov and Vasily Petrenko

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.

Continue reading

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Joy and sorrow with Sergej Krylov and Vasily Petrenko

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.

Continue reading

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: The Corridors of Power with Ádám Fischer

It was a pity that the cold and snow prevented many people to attend to this wonderful concert from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Festival Hall. OAE partners in crime were conductor Ádám Fischer and mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac both in splendid form. The first half of the concert was devoted to Mozart mixing arias from La Clemenza di Tito in between and after Prague symphony. The symphony was played with extreme accuracy while still taking risks with sharp entrances and layering.

Continue reading

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: The Corridors of Power with Ádám Fischer

It was a pity that the cold and snow prevented many people to attend to this wonderful concert from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Festival Hall. OAE partners in crime were conductor Ádám Fischer and mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac both in splendid form. The first half of the concert was devoted to Mozart mixing arias from La Clemenza di Tito in between and after Prague symphony. The symphony was played with extreme accuracy while still taking risks with sharp entrances and layering.

Continue reading

Philharmonia: Beethoven 1st piano concerto with Anderszewski and Mahler 5th conducted by Hrůša

I cannot find any proper reason for coupling Beethoven 1st piano concerto with Mahler 5th Symphony. Seriously, it was quite dumb. At least Philharmonia didn’t program any 6 minutes overture that would had introduced a 7 minutes extra delay to place the piano on stage after it. Rant is over. Well, not so over because Beethoven concerto performance was problematic. It was not a technical problem from orchestra, pianist or conductor.

Continue reading

Philharmonia with Gautier Capuçon and Paavo Järvi: boring Dvořák

Faulty concert at the Royal Festival Hall from the Philharmonia playing a all Dvořák programme. Problem was not with the music making, at least from the technical point of view. All sections played nicely all the night long as well as the soloist, an exquisite and elegant Gautier Capuçon. Problem was more at the conceptual level. Paavo Järvi presented all the works like a collection of independent sections. There was not organic grow to reach a climax, just a forte section following a piano section.

Continue reading

Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado does a superb Debussy/Ravel programme

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.

Continue reading

Author's picture

Skate Art Guy

A guy who loves skate and arts

London