Tour reviews from the USA and Canada: October 2014

The Orchestra has just returned from a major tour of the USA and Canada, where with Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet we gave concerts in California, New York, Toronto and Chicago.

The concerts were brilliantly received by audience and press alike! Here are the press reviews ...

The Granada, Santa Barbara, Thursday 9 October 2014: Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky
'The sound was big, the effect was frequently overwhelming, and the musical language rang of authenticity. The concert also happened to be the opening kickoff of the LPO’s U.S. tour. It was a great beginning.’
Joseph Miller, Santa Barbara Independent, 15 October 2014

Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, California, Friday 10 October 2014: Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky
‘The playing [Jurowski] gets from an exceptionally tight LPO seems to be the result of a hypnotic power over his orchestra players, compelling them involuntarily to do his bidding … This [Tchaikovsky 6] was a world of desolation, of winter colors and interior emotions not allowed to surface self-indulgently.'
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 13 October 2014

‘Jurowski and the LPO rendered this work [Tchaikovsky 6] with perfect clarity and objectivity, and with infallible mastery. The piece’s mood was solemn and many in the audience were moved to tears during its long Adagio. Jurowski’s subjective interpretation and immense knowledge of Tchaikovsky’s combination of pathos and grace was remarkable, intensely personal, and gave the audience a deeper understanding of this vivid portrait of Tchaikovsky’s final year.’
Paula Edelstein,, 11 October 2014

Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, California, Saturday 11 October 2014: Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky
‘The London Philharmonic Orchestra is a luxury model among orchestras. The strings are formidable; they purr like an idling semi and take off like a freight train. They are agile enough, though, and play with precision and, when required, a velvety softness.'
Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register,12 October 2014

Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, Sunday 12 October 2014: Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky
‘Jurowski found that sweet spot of expressiveness that was intense without being overwrought. When Tchaikovsky wanted to elicit a cri de cœur from his brass and percussion, Jurowski could unleash the full force of the wail; but he also could penetrate the dark depths of the quieter passages, particularly when they involved the haunting sounds of multiple voices of low strings.’
Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Classical Music Examiner, 13 October 2014

‘Jurowski illuminated one score after another with an almost otherworldly blend of expressive ardor and large-scale formal control … The evidence was unmistakable that this conductor and orchestra have become a potent and unified force.’
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 October 2014

‘Jurowski shaped the orchestral contributions artfully, and Bavouzet's beautifully refined playing through Prokofiev's reflective variations was authoritative.’
Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News, 15 October 2014

‘An orchestra that goes on tour will typically travel with a program that shows off its best musical assets, but in the case of the LPO it is hard to determine what those are — except maybe everything … The London Philharmonic is steeped in the performance traditions of every kind of music that was ever written for symphony orchestra — and the flexibility with which it assumes a different musical identity with every program piece is astonishing.’
Niels Swinkels, San Francisco Classical Voice, 15 October 2014

Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, Monday 13 October 2014: Lindberg, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich
‘Jurowski’s interpretation of this [Shostakovich] symphony last night could not have been more effective ... Jurowski prevailed over every measure of this score with surprisingly minimal body language but through some of the most detailed communication with his ensemble that one could imagine.’
Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Classical Music Examiner, 14 October 2014

‘You've heard the LPO in the soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which they won an Oscar. From that line on their illustrious resume, you would expect an epic bombastic sound. Indeed they did blast off the roof when visiting SF in a concert on Monday night at Davies Symphony Hall. An orchestra on tour plays pieces which underline its strengths and affinities.', 15 October 2014

Carnegie Hall, New York, Thursday 16 October 2014: Lindberg, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich
‘[Jurowski] brought his exceptional London players to Carnegie Hall for a concert on Thursday night that made clear why this association has been so fruitful and important … What made this performance stand out was the way he maintained that circumspect quality of the symphony, not just in the elusive last movement, but right through.’
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 17 October 2014

‘Once in a while a special performance comes along which stands apart as memorable, even extraordinary. Such was the case with this Shostakovich Eighth Symphony'
Elizabeth Barnette, Classical Source, 19 October 2014

Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Friday 17 October 2014: Lindberg, Prokofiev, Shostakovich
‘Audience members got a rare chance to see the Ferrari of orchestras rev its fine-tuned engines. The London Philharmonic is a menacing force of meticulousness. Even more impressive is Jurowski, who has led the orchestra since 2007, into a resurgence of musical supremacy.’
Michael Vincent, Toronto Star, 18 October 2014

‘Climaxes in this movement [the opening of the Shostakovich] are volcanic, and the LPO did not disappoint. Power was smartly applied to the second movement: Here was a perfect realization of the Shostakovich sting. The Allegro non troppo was properly relentless. Principal trumpet Nicholas Betts, in the central episode, gave us the right touch of ironic relief.’
Arthur Kaptainis, National Post, 20 October 2014

Symphony Center, Chicago, Saturday 18 October 2014: Lindberg, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich
‘The venerable orchestra is clearly in superb form under its current music director, who drew from it a bracing “Russian” sound – sharp and punchy brass and percussion and notably pungent woodwinds.'
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, 19 October 2014


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