Scorch marks: Searing Rachmaninov from Gergiev and the LSO

Rachmaninov: LSO/Gergiev ****

Barbican, 11th November 2014

Fluttering fingers and jabbing a toothpick baton, it’s difficult see how an orchestra can follow the beat – any beat – indicated by Valery Gergiev. Yet the London Symphony Orchestra plays for him like demons. It must be in the eyes. Constantly darting, laser-like, from section to section, they cue in soloists, urge on accelerandos and ramp up the dynamics. Under Gergiev’s burning gaze, the LSO carved out a searing Rachmaninov Third Symphony that almost left scorch marks on the Barbican Hall’s wood panelling.

Valery Gergiev © Alberto Venzago/LSO Live

Valery Gergiev
© Alberto Venzago/LSO Live

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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