CLASSICAL MUSIC RPO / Gatti Barbican, London
Wednesday 28 May 1997
Parallel qualities informed Mendelssohn's First Piano Concerto, especially the first movement's blithely singing second idea. Gatti's soloist was Maurizio Zanini, first-prize winner at the 1986 Dino Ciani International Piano Competition and a spirited classicist in the manner of the young Rudolf Serkin. Zanini's impetuosity paid highest dividends in the opening movement, whereas his delicacy informed the playful Molto allegro e vivace finale and his poise, the lovely Andante. Back in 1990, Zanini made the first complete recording of Reger's magnificent Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Telemann and I would love to hear him give us, say, a Reger- Brahms recital.
After Mendelssohn's sunshine concerto came a sensuous Richard Strauss double-bill, with Artur Rodzinski's comprehensive Rosenkavalier suite placed first. Granted that the performance's virtues outweighed its faults many times over, but I have to admit that moments of internal confusion occasionally muddied the complex tapestry of Strauss's lavish scoring. Which isn't to suggest that the players weren't actually following Gatti so much as to underline their need to follow - or at least listen to - each other more. That, I suppose, is the area where there is most potential for executive improvement. Otherwise, high points of the performance included softly cushioned string playing (with excellent solo work from guest-leader Igor Gruppman), a fine lilt to the waltz sequences and a rush of excitement for the waltz-time finale. It made for a strangely piecemeal concoction (those unfamiliar with the operatic original will have needed a fairly specific plan of action), whereas Salome's "Dance of the Seven Veils" stands securely on its own slender feet. A wave of titters coursed through the hall as Strauss's already large orchestra was supplemented by yet more wind and brass players; but, thereafter, the conductor's snake-like gestures coaxed sinuous textures and a hot-breathed sequence of wind solos. Come the thrilling final onslaught and Gatti's pride was both visible and justified. Indeed, it was warming to see the orchestra applaud him as vigorously as he was applauding them.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
The X Factor winners: Where are they doing now?
Ben Whishaw to play Freddie Mercury in Dexter Fletcher film
Back from the dead? Family Guy's Brian Griffin 'to make a comeback' after fan petition
Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat says Peter Capaldi is NOT Malcolm Tucker
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >