Smudgy haze and glaring sunbursts: Boulez and Debussy juxtaposed by Salonen and the Philharmonia

Boulez, Debussy: Philharmonia/Salonen ***

Royal Festival Hall, 4th May 2017

Adventurous programming – or “curation” to employ the overused term from this concert’s publicity – is welcome, particularly if it refreshes fusty routine. Instead of the usual conductor entrance to polite applause, the Royal Festival Hall was suddenly plunged into darkness last night, from which a spotlight picked out Pierre-Laurent Aimard, buried in the depths of the Philharmonia’s ranks, to perform Pierre Boulez’s Notations IV for solo piano. When blue lighting then flooded the stage, Esa-Pekka Salonen  was already in place to continue without pause.

Esa-Pekka Salonen
© Clive Barda

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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