Concert Reviews: 23 September 2015

The opening concert of the LPO's 2015/16 season began with what Vladimir Jurowski describes as the 'Mount Everest' of symphonies, Mahler's Seventh. Jurowski, the LPO's Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser, was on the podium and ready for the challenge.

Read the reviews here:

'All the musicians very responsive to Jurowski’s objective approach, and there were many characterful solos.'

'The second, serenading, ‘Nachtmusik’, soon ... became wonderfully rapturous, and [one] which Jurowski shaped ideally, the LPO strings wonderfully warm.'

'... the military-band bits were suitably punchy and the [Finale grew] to an imposing and crowning coda.'

Colin Anderson, Classical Source, 23 September 2015

'The opening night processional moved from the most full-toned of tenor horns (for which read euphonium, balefully lowing in the hands of David Whitehouse) and masterful trombones to a prize carnival float of unprecedented width ... In the rare moments of lyric respite, cellist Kristina Blaumane - a leader in her own right among the strings - rose up to meet the violin melody with superbly supportive and mobile arpeggios.'

'At the dead centre of the symphony, the ghosts’ waltzing high noon, every lurid glissandoing groan, shock slap and woodwind wail made its mark; not even among the many recordings ... could so much perceptive detail, as well as imperceptible rubato, be found.'

'The dying fall of the coda, the fading of the dream, over which Jurowski again took his time has never sounded more magical.'

David Nice, The Arts Desk, 24 September 2015 

‘Jurowski made sure that every detail counted. His reasonably broad tempos allowed the Cinemascope moments their full breadth and depth, but he didn’t wallow, keeping the string sound this side of sumptuous and encouraging an occasional abrasiveness, notably in the wind section.'

Nick Kimberley, The Evening Standard, 24 September 2015

'From the finale’s thrilling opening fusillades, Jurowski relished the Mahler packs in here, with sly glances at well-known operatic themes and unexpected references to older musical forms all in the parade’.

‘By the end of the vituosically demanding, 90-minute score the orchestra had worked hard enough for one evening, and indeed its playing throughout remained wonderfully alive and fresh, full of muscular punch.’

John Allison, The Telegraph, 24 September 2015 (4-Stars)

'...this was a reading notable for the lucidity of the fiendish contrapuntal lines, every blurt, squeal and slither teased out’

Neil Fisher, The Times, 24 September (subscription only)

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The concert programme includes an overview of Mahler's symphonies. Read it online here 

'Mahler’s like your eternal conducting teacher peeping over your shoulder telling you what to do,' says Vladimir Jurowski in 'Mahler the Teacher' an article in the latest Tune In magazine. Read the magazine here

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