Dancing bear, tame beasts: Insula Orchestra tackles Beethoven

Beethoven: Angelich; Insula/Equilbey ***

Philharmonie, Paris, 8th February 2016

Orpheus taming the wild beasts: for years, this description of the slow movement in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto was attributed to Franz Liszt. The strings growl angrily, the solo piano (Orpheus on his lyre) responds in soothing phrases until – eventually – the strings soften and are won over. In this performance though, the lions of Insula Orchestra didn’t snarl much at all, but rolled straight onto their backs, wishing to have their tummies tickled, leaving pianist Nicholas Angelich with a non-lion-taming scenario. This episode epitomised an all-Beethoven evening where Insula often lacked bite.

Laurence Equilbey © Charles d'Hérouville | Philharmonie de Paris

Laurence Equilbey
© Charles d’Hérouville | Philharmonie de Paris

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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