LPO at BBC Proms 4 September 2015

This year’s LPO BBC Prom in a steamy Royal Albert Hall saw Vladimir Jurowski conduct Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture and Mitsuko Uchida as soloiost in Schoenberg’s rarely performed 20-minute Piano Concerto. But it was a powerfully bleak reading of Shostakovich Symphony No. 8, described by the composer as reflecting 'the terrible tragedy of the war',  which moved the critics.

 Available on the BBC iPlayer until Saturday 3 October in two parts:
Part 1
Part 2

Read the reviews below.

'Shostakovich’s Symphony No.8 [was] given a searing account … the LPO responded superbly to its collective and individual tasks – with many excellent solos. Of these cor anglais (Sue Böhling) and tremolo strings in the opening movement were mesmerising in their controlled stillness and the solo trumpet in the final bars was equally impressive.

'In short, the LPO and Jurowski were in terrific form, and perhaps we shall hear them more than just once at future Proms. Surely they’ve just earned that.'
David Truslove, Classical Source, 5 September 2015

'No easy listening here, but plenty of raw emotion, and everything delivered with utter conviction and to the highest musical standards.

'... the sheer quality of the orchestral playing allowed to maintain that concentrated expression over the huge span [of the Shostakovich].

'A gruelling but an unforgettable experience.'
Gavin Dixon, Theartsdesk.com, 5 September 2015

'Mitsuko Uchida and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under Vladimir Jurowski, delivered Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with remarkable grace and outstanding skill, highlighting its lucid textures and lyrical lines.

'... focused and expert music-making from the orchestra.

'Jurowski, …  has established sufficient rapport with the orchestra to achieve the effects he desires while doing far less than most conductors do. The result was a noble and articulate reading of a great symphony, grand in scale and urgent in delivery.'
George Hall, The Guardian, 6 September 2015, 4-stars

'This Prom had opened with a spirited performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio overture, and it closed with a magnificent account of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 8.'
Michael Church, The Independent, 5 September 2015, 4-stars

 'The Prom was notable for a rivetingly lean and bleak account of Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony … imbued with 1940s anguish.'
Richard Morrison, The Times, 7 September 2015 (subscription required)

'Deeply affecting performances from Jurowski and the LPO.

'Uchida and the orchestral players executed Schoenberg’s angles and spikes with great precision.

'This was a spellbinding performance of a deeply troubling symphony.'
Nick Boston, BachTrack, 6 September 2015, 4-stars

Shostakovich’s Symphony No.8 [was] given a searing account … the LPO responded superbly to its collective and individual tasks – with many excellent solos. Of these cor anglais (Sue Böhling) and tremolo strings in the opening movement were mesmerising in their controlled stillness and the solo trumpet in the final bars was equally impressive.