thu 19/05/2022

London Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall | reviews, news & interviews

London Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall

London Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall

Gergiev's Russian tales fail to seduce at the Proms

Gergiev: pastel-coloured performance of primary-coloured musicMarco Boggreve

On paper it was a perfect Monday night programme – Scriabin’s extravagant sprawl of a First Symphony and Stravinsky’s The Firebird in its roomy original ballet score. A pairing of youthful 20th-century Russians conducted by the 21st-century Russian. Barely recovered from Sunday’s sensuous binge of Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Gergiev and the LSO promised some welcome hair of the dog. Yet by the time the inevitable Proms standing ovation shifted to its feet something was still lacking; mellow we certainly were. Intoxicated? Not even close.

On paper it was a perfect Monday night programme – Scriabin’s extravagant sprawl of a First Symphony and Stravinsky’s The Firebird in its roomy original ballet score. A pairing of youthful 20th-century Russians conducted by the 21st-century Russian. Barely recovered from Sunday’s sensuous binge of Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Gergiev and the LSO promised some welcome hair of the dog. Yet by the time the inevitable Proms standing ovation shifted to its feet something was still lacking; mellow we certainly were. Intoxicated? Not even close.

Comments

Sorry Alexandra didn't enjoy it. I DID

Not having heard the Scriabin before, in any format, I was very disappointed not to say bored with the dullness of the performance/interpretation. The Stravinsky came across vividly from the front half of the Arena with more nervousness brought out than is normal with the orchestral colours veering to the lurid at times - a nicely "Russian" inflected performance. The longueurs normally encountered were less in evidence but still there.

I'm not sure which concert you were at, but it wasn't the same one as me! I enjoyed the Scriabin performance hugely. It isn't a piece I had heard before, but I thought that Gergiev coaxed some wonderful sounds from the orchestra. The Firebird, from the arena was very exciting and rather than "weedy" I thought the pianissimo playing was magical especially before and during David Pyatt's horn solo at the end. For what it is worth, I thought the flute section had a wonderful evening. Maybe you should follow your link and listen to it again on iPlayer!

Puzzled by the review. This concert was a wonderful experience - and the pianissimo and horn solos were highlights. I got a bit worried when smoke came out of an electrical fitting near the choir, where I was sitting.

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