Sunday, 5 February 2017

Coming up at the Philharmonia Orchestra

Interesting things coming up with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival, in contrast to the sad blandness that marks the South Bank's antipathy to serious music.  Next for me will be Esa-Pekka Salonen's concert on 19th Feb with Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing Ligeti's Piano Concerto, The complete Debussy Daphnis et Chloé and .Stravinsky's "lost" Funeral Song - read more here about the premiere where Gergiev conducted it in context with Rimsky-Korsakov and The Firebird.    On 2nd March, Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Stravinsky The Firebird complete 1910 version with de Falla and Ravel.  Preceding this an early evening concert with Pascal Rophé featuring Isang Yun whose music isn't heard nearly as often as it should be.

Benjamin Zander returns to London after a long absence on 13th March in an all-Beethoven concert which includes Beethoven 9.  Then Jakub Hrůša conducts Brahms on 23/3 and Dvořák 6 on  6/4. The early evening concert that day features Bent Sørensen who's very good.  Salonen and Pierre-Laurent again on 4/5 and 7/5  first with Debussy and Boulez, then with Bartok and Mahler 6.Veteran Philharmonia emeritus Christoph von Dohnányi conducts Schumann and Mendelssohn on 8/6.  Elgar and  RVW Sea Symphony with Roderick Williams on 29/6.

The Philharmonia's 2017-2018 season kicks off on 28/9 with an unusual concert in which Salonen will conduct  Sibelius 6 with Thorvaldsdottir and Bjarsen.  Since Sibelius so dominates music in Finland, Salonen avoided conducting him until he felt he had something original to express. When Salonen did turn to Sibelius his insights were a revelation. I'll never forget his series at the Barbican a dozen years ago.  Infinitely better that a conductor should approach things like that rather than churn things out on autopilot like some wildly  popular conductors I won't mention.   Equally exciting, Salonen conducts Mahler 3rd on 1st October, which he conducted when the Royal Festival Hall reopened 10 years ago after renovations. What a revelation that was, too, full of energy, light and freshness ! He's conducting Mahler 9 on 30 November, another must go.  Also a must for me, on 8/10 Smetana Ma Vlast with Jakub Hrůša. Lots more, too much to write about. And then it's Xmas all over again.

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