LPO/Sinaisky, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Sunday 30 October 2005
Notwithstanding acoustics that sniff haughtily and turn away in a huff whenever the dynamic rises above mezzo forte, there is something to be said for the intimacy of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Furthermore, as the LPO proved on Wedsnesday night, its new residents are quickly learning to accomodate its indiosyncracies.
With reduced strings, careful phrasing, and judicious distancing of the brass, Dvorak's Cello Concerto proved ideal for the smaller hall. Pieter Wispelway's solo was grainy, athletic, elegantly argued, pristine in its tuning, and pleasingly interrogative of his accompaniment. But, gosh, it is better keep one's eyes closed while he plays. Last time I saw expressions like those on Wispelway's face was on Discovery Health's Maternity Ward. Conductor Vassily Sinaisky, who would have been forgiven for leaving the podium and pacing up and down with a cigar, was by contrast a model of serenity.
By happy accident or percipient planning, Glinka's Capriccio brillante and Tchaikovsky's Third Symphony highlighted the section least favoured by these acoustics: the woodwind. The voluptuous vibrato of flautist Susan Thomas was a little rich for my taste, but her expressivity and focus, along with that of oboist Ian Hardwick, clarinettist Robert Hill, and bassoonist Simon Estell, was indefatigable.
With smart, direct playing from the trumpets, a suave sound from the trombones and horns, and some exceptionally tight and cultured work from the LPO's excellent strings, this was a very impressive performance; beautifully shaped and galvanised by Sinaisky.
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments