sat 10/12/2016

Grimaud, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Grimaud, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

Grimaud, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

From foursquare heroism in Beethoven to a dazzlingly original epic by Sibelius

Akseli Gallen-Kallela's depiction of hero Lemminkäinen mourned by his mother, illustrated in ruggedly original music by Sibelius

Esa-Pekka Salonen and his dauntless band of Philharmonia players have been wrestling with heroes. After a celebration of Wagner's Tristan, the legend-making shifted further north last night. Here was Sibelius first as the plain-singing, well-loved bard of Finnish endurance and then as the startlingly original creator of a musical alter ego in the shape of mythical adventurer Lemminkäinen. Salonen's edge-of-seat interpretation made two things startlingly clear: that the four movements of the misnamed Lemminkäinen Suite can constitute as radical a symphony as any of Sibelius's numbered seven, and that this surging orchestral tidal wave is as iconoclastic a work in its own rugged way as Wagner's opera.

The double octaves had no nuancing, as if Grimaud were auditioning for the pianists' cage in Carnival of the Animals

Share this article

Comments

David, that was an incredibly well written article. I feel like I was just outside the door of the concert hall. +Aaron Kunce York, County, PA - USA

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters