Concert reviews: Michail Jurowski conducts Ligeti, Lutoslawski & Schnittke, 30 October 2013

'This was an astounding concert in every respect, the fitting climax to an anything-goes benchmark week in the life of The Rest is Noise festival ... How hard and tirelessly the LPO, brass especially, worked to terrorize and humour us. The theatrics of Jurowski senior may have been deadpan – hands in pockets when the baton wasn't needed – but you see where his son gets his absolutely clear and definitive beat from, every entry elegantly cued, and he shaped the multipart string slow movement towards a shattering climax and back ... I've never been more gripped than by Moser's performance of the concerto. He played mercurially around the inexorable tocking of Lutosławski's crazy opening solo, gesturing towards his orchestral colleagues, and acted out our astonishment at the trumpet interruptions (this was principal LPO trumpeter Paul Beniston's night, too).'
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 31 October 2013

On 30 October 2013, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductor Michail Jurowski, performed music by Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Schnittke with cellist Johannes Moser. Here are the press reviews ...

'This was an astounding concert in every respect, the fitting climax to an anything-goes benchmark week in the life of The Rest is Noise festival ... How hard and tirelessly the LPO, brass especially, worked to terrorize and humour us. The theatrics of Jurowski senior may have been deadpan – hands in pockets when the baton wasn't needed – but you see where his son gets his absolutely clear and definitive beat from, every entry elegantly cued, and he shaped the multipart string slow movement towards a shattering climax and back ... I've never been more gripped than by Moser's performance of the concerto. He played mercurially around the inexorable tocking of Lutosławski's crazy opening solo, gesturing towards his orchestral colleagues, and acted out our astonishment at the trumpet interruptions (this was principal LPO trumpeter Paul Beniston's night, too).'
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 31 October 2013

'Theatrical as much as musical certainly, but with an underlying purpose that, thanks to the guidance of Jurowski as Master of Ceremonies, was hardly in doubt.'
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source, 31 October 2013

'This wasn't an easy programme by any means, and seemed to get more intense as it went on, but the audience sat in rapt attention throughout, and conversations during the interval seemed to be about little other than the music of the first half ... For [Jurowski], context is all, and each of these allusions is given a sinister dimension through its placement in the narrative. The excellent orchestral playing helped him to make his point, the calculated precision of the woodwind ensembles, the dark colouring to each of the horn and trumpet solos.'
Gavin Dixon, Seen and Heard International, 31 October 2013

'Jurowski senior definitely had the measure of the piece, holding together the complex mix of improvisation and notated passages. He and the orchestra, who were clearly enjoying themselves, never flinched from being lurid and brazen when needed, particularly in the riotous second movement.'
Chris Garlick, Bachtrack, 1 November 2013

'[The Schnittke's] baroque, its ragtime, its tone clusters, its funeral marches and its free-for-all were played with outstanding virtuosity and directed with powerful clarity and energy ... One of the season's most rewarding and unforgettable concerts.' (5 stars)
Hilary Finch, The Times, 1 November 2013 (online access for Times subscribers only)

'I emerged feeling as if my brain had been pulled through my ears, savagely jumped on, and then squeezed back in, albeit upside down ... This performance, led by Michail Jurowski, father of the orchestra's current music director, Vladimir, was sustained with a breathtaking combination of skill and energy.'
Guy Dammann, The Guardian, 1 November 2013

This concert was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3 and it available to listen on demand until 6 November: click here