fri 05/03/2021

Bryant, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Robertson, Barbican Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Bryant, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Robertson, Barbican Hall

Bryant, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Robertson, Barbican Hall

Jungly new music for violin and orchestra catches the ear, but it's Sibelius who sweeps the board

David Robertson: Urgent, sensuous SibeliusMichael Tammaro

Never envy a relatively new voice in music his or her place in a concert shared with Sibelius. Invariably the economical Finnish master will triumph with his ideas and how he streams them in a forward-moving adventure. You sit staring at all the percussion Sibelius never needs, and wonder whether the newcomer will engage it more imaginatively than most of his peers. Which fortunately turned out to be the case with Detlev Glanert's 15-year-old Music for Violin and Orchestra, fearlessly taken on by one of the BBC Symphony Orchestra's two world-class leaders, Stephen Bryant. But given Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson's urgent, sensuous way with Sibelius, the German's flickering homage to the Orpheus of Rilke's sonnets still hovered in the shadows.

Never envy a relatively new voice in music his or her place in a concert shared with Sibelius. Invariably the economical Finnish master will triumph with his ideas and how he streams them in a forward-moving adventure. You sit staring at all the percussion Sibelius never needs, and wonder whether the newcomer will engage it more imaginatively than most of his peers. Which fortunately turned out to be the case with Detlev Glanert's 15-year-old Music for Violin and Orchestra, fearlessly taken on by one of the BBC Symphony Orchestra's two world-class leaders, Stephen Bryant. But given Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson's urgent, sensuous way with Sibelius, the German's flickering homage to the Orpheus of Rilke's sonnets still hovered in the shadows.

The storm Sibelius whips up just before the final surprise benediction of a rich major chord is the most terrifying in the entire repertoire

Share this article

Add comment

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