Concert reviews: Vladimir Jurowski conducts Brahms & Bruckner, 26 February 2014

On Wednesday 26 February 2014 at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski gave a concert comprised of Brahms's Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with soloists Julia Fischer and Daniel Müller-Schott, followed by Bruckner's Symphony No. 2. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and is available to listen again free of charge for 7 days via BBC iPlayer.

Here are the press reviews ...

'There was never any doubt that Vladimir Jurowski had the measure of this key Bruckner work. With his eight double basses ranged at the back of the orchestra behind the brass, Jurowski had clearly thought hard about how he wanted to project the Brucknerian sound, and a similar attentiveness marked his pacing and balancing of the whole sprawling score, to which the LPO responded with terrific commitment.'
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 27 February 2014

'Jurowski kept the [Bruckner] on a tight though never inflexible rein. The opening Moderato vividly took wing, its initial agitation finding an ideal contrast in the ruminative theme that ensues on lower stings, and with the relatively prolix development building to a powerful climax as surely as the coda sounded not at all distended in its venturing towards a fateful conclusion. Even finer was the Andante, not least as Jurowski judged to perfection its easeful progress – the respectively rapturous and wistful main themes complementing each other unerringly and the beatific coda capped by lissom horn-playing from John Ryan.'
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source, 27 February 2014

'The orchestral playing was always up to the challenge, indeed it was excellent throughout, and in both the opening movement [of the Brahms] and the finale the LPO provided the requisite heavily wrought and energetic backdrop against which the cello and violin conduct their passionate and intimate conversation.
Jurowski's commitment, conviction and detailed knowledge [of the Bruckner] was apparent, the players responding with an equally committed performance, clarity of articulation and transparency of texture. Especially sure-footed was John Ryan's horn playing in the rhapsodic passage in the first movement development, where he reiterates the opening motive.'
Ken Ward, Bachtrack, 28 February 2014

'This was not a high octane rendition [of the Brahms] but rather one that highlighted the more intimate side of the dialogue between the two instruments, an approach especially moving in the Andante. Excellent support was provided by Jurowski and the orchestra, featuring both characterful instrumental solos as well energetic and incisive playing in tutti passages.'
Christian Hoskins, MusicOMH.com, 1 March 2014