Preview: LPO / Vladimir Jurowski, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Music on a different scale
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

For the London Philharmonic Orchestra and its young Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski - who takes the Queen Elizabeth Hall podium on Saturday for the third time in a week - the Festival Hall's two-year closure is a blessing. It's allowed them to repeat one programme twice: "The tragedy of all the London orchestras apart from the LSO", he says, "is that they invest huge amounts of emotion and energy on works they perform only once. This way we can improve."

Moreover, he adds, being forced to occupy the smaller auditorium is giving them a unique chance to explore the chamber repertoire. "They will learn a completely different way of music-making. This already wonderful orchestra should return to the Festival Hall as one of the best in the world."

The Saturday programme, which he has devised, will offer Mozart's Requiem as its culmination. "But it has always seemed to me that the best companion pieces for this work are pieces written in the 20th century that have the same intention - to commemorate a person - so we decided to make the first part of the concert a series of small requiems, but starting with another by Mozart to preserve the concert's arc." They will follow that with Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments - a barbaric requiem in memory of his hero Debussy - and Arvo Pärt's Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. "Pärt and Mozart in the same programme," Jurowski says, "may provoke new thoughts in the audience."

And for Mozart's supreme but unfinished work, Jurowski is abandoning the usual Sussmayr version for the one done in 1971 by Franz Beyer. "We will never know the complete work Mozart had in mind, but at least Beyer managed to eliminate the terrible mistakes of harmony and orchestration which you find in Sussmayr. The orchestration in the last sections is much more transparent and Mozart-like."

Tomorrow, 7.30pm (0870 3804 300)