Thursday, 19 February 2015

Parisian nights

(Esa-Pekka Salonen, cond. Philharmonia, De Montfort Hall)

The Philharmonia has started its Paris: City of Light season 1900-50. A busy period in music and in history. Under Esa-Pekka Salonen, three works: two by Ravel and one by Stravinsky brought some of this to life.

The Ravel Mother Goose scenes steps through a delightful sequence of scenes; by the end of it coming to a superb climax.

The Piano Concerto for the Left Hand is a tough gig. Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s rendition glittered most All the more poignant for its composition history. It was written for Wittgenstein’s pianist brother who lost his right hand in the First World War. One hand in 19 minutes seems to do as much work as two hands might in a might longer piece.

The Firebird makes only limited sense without the dancing. But the music on its own is beautiful.

This was an exciting programme and the orchestra were on top-form again after a slight disappointment last time.  Great choices, fine conducting and an excellent soloist.

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