Concert reviews: Friday 3 October 2014

On Friday 3 October 2014 at Royal Festival Hall, the Orchestra launched its 11-concert festival Rachmaninoff: Inside Out, which will take place across the 2014/15 season. Find out more here.

Here are the first press reviews of Friday's concert ...

‘Jurowski and the LPO’s performance [of the Symphonic Dances] was just right; deliberate, massively decisive, yet bracingly light. Throughout they held all the different aspects of the piece – the nostalgia, the swirling, surreal waltzes, the self-mocking sarcasm – in an ideal balance.’ (4 stars)
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 4 October 2014

‘Vladimir Jurowksi’s conducting was equally hypnotic. There is a remarkable stillness to his podium style, where his steely presence finds expression through fluid flicks of the wrist. Occasionally, he abandoned his baton to sculpt phrases with his hands, but the clarity and control he exercised in this tone poem [The Isle of the Dead] were very fine. He drew a sonorous cello sound, later matched by lower woodwinds, and the harp and pizzicato strings quoting the Dies irae theme (much quoted by Rachmaninov in his works) brought an eerie chill to the Festival Hall.’
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 4 October 2014

‘Jurowski drove [The Isle of the Dead] forward, the pulse never slackening, at times drawing exceptional intensity from the LPO. The Symphonic Dances were even more compelling, with Jurowksi elegantly and deftly emphasising the quicksilver episodic nature of the elegiac orchestral writing, while James Burke’s atmospheric clarinet spearheaded some superb contributions from a uniformly excellent set of LPO wind principals.’ (4 stars)
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 5 October 2014

‘Clearly the LPO’s Rachmaninov retrospective has been launched in impressive fashion.’
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source, 5 October 2014

‘[Jurowski’s] firm grip on the music’s trajectory, the discipline of the playing, the concentrated way he explored the spare sound-world of late Rachmaninov, all made this an opening concert of distinction that bodes well for the rest of the series.’ (4 stars)
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 6 October 2014 (free subscription required)

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Read the concert programme online here

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