tue 19/11/2019

Vienna Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel, Barbican | reviews, news & interviews

Vienna Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel, Barbican

Vienna Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel, Barbican

The Rite of Spring and Bruckner's Third receive a wonderfully vulgar performance

Lorin Maazel: 'Maazel encouraged the Vienna Philharmonic to excavate an echt-Austrian wholesomeness that lies at the core of Bruckner's Third.'
Shuffling about the podium like a cha-cha-chaing Jack Lemmon, slam-dunking his first beats, kicking out his heels for second beats, épéeing the trombone entries like a toy toreador, it wasn't hard to see why Lorin Maazel gets such a regular critical roasting. During The Rite of Spring he was almost playing up the vulgarian tag. "You want vulgar? I'll give you vulgar. Take that ridiculously elongated glissando! And that totally out-of-place ritardando! And that gob-smackingly inappropriate sforzando!" That Maazel is a showman has never been in question. What is more problematic is discerning whether this actually mattered? Eyes away now if you're averse to a bit of heresy but might Stravinsky's Rite and Bruckner's Third actually not both benefit from a bit of vulgarity?

Share this article

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 £3.95 per month or £30 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?


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

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.