fivestar" /> LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London<field name="starRating">fivestar</field> - Reviews - Classical - The Independent

LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, Londonfivestar

5.00

Like so many of Vladimir Jurowski's intriguing programme ideas, the pairing of Ravel's Piano Concert for the Left Hand and Shostakovich's 7th Symphony "Leningrad" amounted to much more than the musical equivalent of speed-dating. Both works were, in different ways, the products of war and heroism: the concerto inspired by the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who rebuilt a concert career despite losing an arm in the First World War; and the symphony an ode to the people of Leningrad, whose endurance in the face of Nazi oppression had been well-practised under Stalin.

But Jurowski will undoubtedly have spotted the musical kinship between the frivolous march at the heart of the Ravel and its toe-tapping equivalent in the first movement of the Shostakovich. Both might be described as "frivolous with intent". Jurowski immediately homed in on the underlying blackness of the Ravel, his bass clarinet worming through groping string bass arpeggios.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, both arms operational but only one in use, made something grandly defiant of his opening flourishes. His rhythmic resilience in just one hand was extraordinary, and come the long final cadenza, those leaps across the spectrum of the keyboard really did suggest 10 fingers in play. The savage sawn-off ending – with that march now goose-stepping – opened the door on the Shostakovich.

And the highest accolade one can pay to Jurowski's detailed and deeply felt reading of the symphony was that, where others may leave only an impression of tub-thumping rhetoric with this piece, Jurowski left one in no doubt of its greatness. It's true that the protracted mutation of that inane march can wear the listener down. That's the idea. A study in mindless repetition. Except it isn't. Few in my experience have chronicled the changing colour and temper of the orchestration like Jurowski, and with his extra trumpets and trombones separated antiphonally in the choir stalls, and four of the seven horns filling the texture in between, the climactic modulation was horrific indeed.

But there is music in the middle movements that is unique in Shostakovich's output, and from the spooky Mahlerian intimations of the scherzo to the ineffable, heartbreaking beauty of the chorale-led slow movement, Jurowski and his orchestra dug deep.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test