I was excited about seeing for the first time Firebird Orchestra. I am subscriber of their mailing list and once a month they send an email with information about the music they are going to be perform in the next concert. Theres emails are the best one among all of those I receive. Delightful, well written and to the point. The programme was quite interesting, so expectations were quite high. Did it meet expectations?
New concert from the London Chamber Orchestra series. I was shocked by the orchestra and the conductor waiting on the stage for a member of the royal family to enter the hall and seat down. In a concert the highest authority is the conductor, and is the only one to be waited for. More shocking was having most of the audience standing while that person from royal family was entering. I have seen people on some other concert halls standing up because a national anthem was played, but not for someone walking in.
This was a sold out concert at Wigmore Hall. Not sure if it was because of the interesting 20th century programme, because of the two famous soloists, because of the glamour of one of them or because of the kink of seeing together two very different personalities. I was in because all of those and because I enjoyed their previous visits to London. Wang belongs to this class of technically perfect pianists.
First night of this year Mitsuko Uchida visit to the Royal Festival Hall for her Schubert voyage. Three sonatas on the programme (D.958, D.664 and D.894) and mixed results. Her Schubert is clear, perfectly exposed, with interesting nuances on the repeats but lacks of that deep intensity and darkness that other pianist do on it. That’s why the results sonata D.958 were not that interesting. Much better was the sonata D.
Leif Ove Andsnes presented a very demanding programme at the Royal Festival Hall. I found it perfect and not at all the typical thing a pianist takes on tour. It included: * Sibelius small pieces from his last album that is rocking, to fill the promotion/present bits * Jörg Widmann music, to fill the contemporary bits * Schubert not so popular pieces, to bring light into a well known composer * a Beethoven sonata, the big repertoire quota * Chopin works, as final beauty treat
This review is easy: Benjamin Appl has one of the most beautiful baritone voices I have listened to in the recent years. He is charming and expressive and does a very intelligent singing. And the superb Graham Johnson is one of the top references as lieder pianist from the previous generation. So yes, they made it pretty well. With a programme focused on lieder with oriental themes, without no applause until the intermission it was risky to sing all these songs, with different moods all together almost without interruption.
Second concert of the series Why Music? The Key to Memory at the Wellcome Collection. I really admire when the programme for a concert, or a whole concerts season, is built around an idea that works as a nexus. But when this is pushed to the boundaries it can be ridiculous. And this is what happened to the idea of this concert. The idea was just a generic piezoelectric data storage technology.