mon 25/10/2021

Szymczewska, LPO, Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Szymczewska, LPO, Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall

Szymczewska, LPO, Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall

An exciting new advocate for Walton's First Symphony

Osmo Vänskä: Bristling with nervy anticipation

The flurry of fanfares at the start of Magnus Lindberg’s Al largo (UK premiere) sounded almost Waltonian. Or maybe that was because the prospect of Osmo Vänskä in Walton’s First Symphony was such an enticing one that premonitions of its highly distinctive sound-world were already being suggested in the somewhat predictable pyrotechnics of the Lindberg. Lindberg is a great showman and an accomplished technician, but against Walton’s startling originality (circa 1935) he sounded, well, old hat - like a man rapidly losing his edge.

The flurry of fanfares at the start of Magnus Lindberg’s Al largo (UK premiere) sounded almost Waltonian. Or maybe that was because the prospect of Osmo Vänskä in Walton’s First Symphony was such an enticing one that premonitions of its highly distinctive sound-world were already being suggested in the somewhat predictable pyrotechnics of the Lindberg. Lindberg is a great showman and an accomplished technician, but against Walton’s startling originality (circa 1935) he sounded, well, old hat - like a man rapidly losing his edge.

Temperamentally speaking, this piece always had Vänskä’s name on it. Bringing it to the boil was sport for him

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