Concert reviews: Górecki Symphony No. 4 world premiere, 12 April 2014

On Saturday 12 April at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Andrey Boreyko gave the posthumous and long-awaited world premiere of Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 4, four years after the composer's death.

The programme also included Stravinsky's Violin Concerto with soloist Julian Rachlin and Alexandre Tansman's Stèle in memoriam Igor Stravinsky.

Read the press reviews...

'Well-prepared and given with a conviction that Boreyko channelled resourcefully over the work's course.'
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source, 13 April 2014

'Julian Rachlin took centre stage for a performance of Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, a piece that distils all the mannerisms of neoclassicism into one perfectly formed masterpiece. Charged by the soloist with tension and energy, it provided the evening's most memorable music-making.'
George Hall, The Guardian, 13 April 2014

'Those expecting the serenity of the Third may have been disappointed, but this swansong turned out to be extraordinary: playful, dramatic and tender.'
Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph, 13 April 2014

'Full marks to the London Philharmonic for continuing to offer the most adventurous concerts in London.'
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 14 April 2014

'This, I imagine, is what Mussorgsky's hangovers felt like.'
Anna Picard, The Times, 14 April 2014 (online access for subscribers only)

'I have listened to the symphony several times since the concert, and its power remains mesmeric.'
Hilary Glover, Planet Hugill, 12 April 2014

'Musicalised letters of the name of the composer Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986 — his wonderfully glittering Stèle in memoriam Igor Stravinsky was the concert's opener) provide Gorecki with material in the form of short explosive sound-blocks, insistently repeated and rhythmically deceptive, that are dramatically juxtaposed with utterly contrasting becalmed ideas.'
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 20 April 2014 (online access for subscribers only)

Julian Rachlin took the solo part in Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in D, bringing out its beauty with a wonderfully sensitive line.'
Michael Church, The Independent, 21 April 2014 (not online)

The premiere of Górecki's Symphony No. 4 was filmed and will be streamed on the Guardian website for one week.

Read more about the story behind the Symphony here

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