Concert reviews: 2014/15 season opening concert, 24 September 2014

We opened our 2014/15 season at Royal Festival Hall last night (24 September) with a concert comprising Magnus Lindberg's Chorale, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

Here are the press reviews ...

‘This was a whiplash interpretation [of the Shostakovich], swift to scorch and devastatingly focused’ (5 stars)
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 25 September 2014

‘Exploring the full range of the writing, the maestro inspired extraordinary tonal depth and colour that did all the individual sections of the orchestra considerable credit.‘ (4 stars)
George Hall, The Guardian, 25 September 2014

‘From the goosestepping to the ballistic explosions of brass and the thunderous tattoos of timpani, this was a war machine activated with military precision.’ (4 stars)
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 25 September 2014

'This was an extraordinary performance. The responsiveness of the LPO strings and the peerless wind and brass playing showed the extent to which the LPO has become Jurowski’s orchestra.'
Peter Reed, Classical Source, 25 September 2014

'This was Shostakovich as precision weapon, as Jurowski finely judged the balance between the military-style crescendos — ear-bleedingly intense — and their disintegrating fallout.' (5 stars)
Neil Fisher, The Times, 25 September 2014
(online access for Times subscribers only)

‘This was a wonderfully taut performance [of the Shostakovich], full of eloquent solo playing, shaped by Jurowski with iron severity.'
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 25 September 2014

‘The concert was an excellent calling card for the forthcoming season for both Lindberg and the orchestra and I look forward to hearing them explore this repertoire further in the months to come.’ (4 stars)
Jack Johnson,, 26 September 2014

‘Jurowski’s grip on the music was absolute, and the emotional impact overwhelming … As for the quality of the orchestral playing, it’s impossible not to be impressed by sheer flexibility of the LPO, an orchestra back from a summer spent performing opera at Glyndebourne, here creating an echt Shostakovich sound with climaxes of a scalding intensity comparable with some of the great Soviet performances of the past.’ (5 stars)
Christian Hoskins,, 28 September 2014


Read the concert programme online here

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