Concert reviews: Wednesday 3 December 2014

On Wednesday 3 December at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under its Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski performed a concert comprising Szymanowski's Concert Overture, Scriabin's Piano Concerto with soloist Igor Levit, and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1. This concert was part of the Orchestra's year-long Rachmaninoff: Inside Out festival.

Here are the press reviews...

‘In other hands the angst could be turgid; never with the spring-heeled rhythms and textural focus this ever brilliant and well-prepared conductor always gives us.’
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 4 December 2014

‘The 1897 premiere of the symphony was famously sabotaged by an allegedly drunk conductor. Little risk of that with Jurowski, who showed taut rhythmic control and an acute ear for orchestral sonority in a performance so persuasive that one could almost overlook the work’s structural shortcomings.’
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 4 December 2014

‘The heightened and rather unvarying emotional pitch [of the Rachmaninoff] can be difficult both to sustain and to listen to in performance, though Jurowski did wonders with it in an interpretation at once extreme, exciting and formidably played.’ (4 stars)
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 4 December 2014

‘Rachmaninov’s darkness and volatility leapt off the page, marshalled by Jurowski with his uncanny sense of the music’s direction and sympathy with its spiritual complexity. To hear this conductor ‘playing’ his great orchestra is to be reminded once again of the extraordinary lucidity of their connection.’
Peter Reed, Classical Source, 4 December 2014

‘This performance of the Symphony No.1 was concentrated, full of drama, gripping. It is one of Jurowski’s skills that he can draw the maximum import out of every detail so that what might seem to be loosely written music, such as the middle two movements here, is full of interest.’ (4 stars)
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 4 December 2014

‘Even the minor works of that era were riveting, as this typically quirky Vladimir Jurowski programme with the London Philharmonic showed.’
Richard Morrison, The Times, 5 December 2014 (online access for subscribers only)

Read the concert programme online here

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