Tag Archives: Balakirev

Russian Roulette: Pappano’s spin through the Mighty Handful

Orchestra of the ROH/Pappano *** Royal Opera House, 8th February 2016 Exploring the music of Russia’s “Mighty Handful” would seem a useful limber up for the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Sir Antonio Pappano ahead of the upcoming … Continue reading

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Brooding Rachmaninov 3 from Gergiev and the LSO

Rachmaninov: Symphony No.3; Balakirev: Russia Of Rachmaninov’s three symphonies, the Third enjoys the least popularity. There’s a certain notoriety to the First because of its disastrous première (thanks to a drunken Glazunov conducting), while the Second is adored for its … Continue reading

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Unwrapping an enigma: Gergiev’s electrifying Shostakovich 15

Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich: LSO/Gergiev ***** Barbican Hall, 12th May 2015 “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” That description could apply to Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony, with its impish musical quotations punctuating its dark brooding character. It would also … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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