LSO / Colin Davis, Barbican, London

4.00

To thoroughly misquote Mark Twain, rumours of the death of classical music have been grossly exaggerated.

To thoroughly misquote Mark Twain, rumours of the death of classical music have been grossly exaggerated. But anyone who'd listened to BBC Radio 3's Music Matters discussion on Sunday on the fate of classical music - or, more precisely, classical-music criticism - would have been forgiven their surprise in discovering a huge crowd at the Barbican for the evening's concert. And many of them were young.

Classical music is currently suffering a mega-bout of jitters in this country. It's the British disease: undermine that which you do best. And how dangerous it is: prophecies have a way of fulfilling themselves.

The LSO's concert was a triumph in (almost) every way. Their hugely enterprising Ambassador scheme, very much on view, encourages the young to find the young, allowing any bone fide student a ticket to certain concerts for £4.50 providing they text in their request. So this felt like a family concert; not so much for families but as a family, the siblings and cousins strutting their stuff to each other and to the young outsiders, all under the wonderfully wise guidance of Papa Colin Davis. It is the orchestra's centenary year, and nothing could display better the extraordinary level of the LSO's players than letting them individually take centre stage.

Karl Jenkins's Quirk, receiving its world premiere, is the third of the LSO's four centenary commissions. These are the result of particular section-principals nominating the composer of their choice. Jenkins's three-movement work, a triple concerto for flute, percussion and keyboards, was expertly played by principals Gareth Davies, Neil Percy and John Alley. From the composer of Adiemus, it's soft-centred stuff, superbly written technically, totally approachable, and skilfully empty. The crowd loved it.

Haydn's Symphony No 72 - quite probably written long before this late-ish numbering might indicate - is a show-off piece; the Esterhazy orchestra had just had their number of horns doubled. The LSO's four were in fine fettle, even if, despite valves, the taming of these creatures is woefully difficult.

The slow movement had Carmine Lauri, concert-master for the evening, and Martin Parry, sub-principal flute, duetting elegantly; the last movement's variations again featured solo flute, violin and cello (with fine playing from Moray Welsh) and a double-bass variation, spectacularly performed by Rinat Ibragimov.

But pride of place goes to the LSO's "normal" concert-master, Gordan Nikolitch, whose performance as soloist in Brahms's Violin Concerto was simply titanic. Unsurprisingly, there was a palpable sense of support and togetherness from the orchestra and Sir Colin, who established broad, spacious tempi that gave Nikolitch ample space to give his enormously passionate reading. It was exhilarating, the thunderous applause absolutely right. Who says classical music's dead?

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
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
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
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.

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue