fri 22/09/2017

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

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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

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