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.
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.
What a wonderful surprise this The Rake’s Progress performance was! It was my first night at Wilton’s Music Hall and I immediately felt in love with such a charming and magical venue (and also with its bars!). OperaGlass Works is a new opera company and this was its first production. And what a brilliant entrance on the UK (and world) operatic scene! This The Rake’s Progress production is a perfect example of work done well from the beginning to the end: an outstanding staging idea, a top class opera conductor, a superb orchestra and a group of excellent singers.
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.
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.