LSO/Noseda, Barbican, London
Monday 26 May 2008
This was Gianandrea Noseda's debut with the LSO. Let's just say that his presence was felt. So much so that it was his and not his soloist Janine Jansen's personality that was initially stamped on Beethoven's Violin Concerto.
Jansen is one of music's shining new stars, with a technique and musicality to die for. But in the lengthy first movement she was so self-effacing that she essentially wasn't there. She gave a near-flawless exposition of the notes, but the message, the mystique, the rapture of the music felt compromised by her reverence.
Shostakovich's 11th symphony, The Year 1905, often brings out the best in conductors, but I have rarely heard its momentous narrative delivered with such unflinching power. There are few more startling passages in 20th-century music than the brutal percussion-led depiction of the January massacre outside the Winter Palace. Noseda had the strings play in such shocked near-silence that it took a moment to realise there was any sound at all. Terrific.
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