Extreme sports: Gardner leads the BBCSO in a thrilling Central European expedition

Janáček, Smetana, Szymanowski etc; Gardner/BBCSO ****

Barbican Hall, 7th January 2016

If Edward Gardner organised travel tours then, on the basis of this evening’s Central European expedition with the BBCSO, he’d probably specialise in Extreme Sports. Despite the burbling streams with which Smetana’s Vltava trickles into life, this was no pastoral stroll on the gentle slopes of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland. Bitterness and knife violence, warrior maidens luring passing knights into a massacre, and filicide, torture and execution ensured plenty of blood was spilt. In between, we went paragliding on eagle’s wings, courtesy of Péter Eötvös. It’s any wonder the Barbican didn’t have St John’s Ambulance on standby.

Edward Gardner
© Benjamin Ealovega

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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