A Russian heritage: Gergiev’s cataclysmic Rachmaninov with the LSO

Balakirev/Glazunov/Rachmaninov: LSO/ Gergiev ***

Barbican Hall, 19th February 2015

With speculation mounting about the appointment of his successor as Principal Conductor, there has been little evaluation of Gergiev’s time at the helm of the LSO. Apart from an impulsive, erratic Mahler cycle, he has rarely ventured far from his comfort zone. While I lament missed opportunities to delve into repertoire he wouldn’t necessarily explore with his Mariinsky forces (imagine a Gergiev-led Vaughan Williams cycle), it could be argued he has played to his strengths by focusing on Russian music. This evening clearly demonstrated some of those strengths, yet also displayed characteristic flaws.

Valery Gergiev © Alexander Shapunov

Valery Gergiev
© Alexander Shapunov

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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