Classical & Opera: A Leppard who's changed his spots
Saturday 01 November 1997
Musically, this time of year is very much high season; and there's a wealth of potentially enthralling events to choose from. And with London's five major native symphony orchestras in full flight, it might take something extra-special to attract the listener to a concert by a visiting orchestra. Still, the combination of Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has plenty to recommend it.
Britain has produced any number of musical exiles, yet perhaps one of the saddest "losses" has been that of Raymond Leppard. Leppard's pioneering work with the English Chamber Orchestra and at Glyndebourne now seems long in the past. For the last decade, he has been Music Director in Indianapolis. Still, perhaps our loss has been the Americans' gain for, during that time, Leppard has steered the orchestra to new heights, both in the concert hall and on disc. A tight and highly professional unit, Indianapolis customarily produces an ample and rugged sound, held firmly together by a pristine ensemble.
And perhaps where better to air those considerable talents than in Tchaikovsky's dramatic 4th Symphony? The symphony has been termed a "dance dialectic"; and it dates from a highly emotional period in the composer's life, during the aftermath of his disastrous marriage. Loosely programmatic, the piece centres on a collision between Man and the inevitable Fate that awaits him. Having introduced the menacing fate theme with a blazing opening fanfare, Tchaikovsky proceeds to tussle with it throughout his symphonic groundplan, casting it, by turns, in both sinister and sentimental guises. For any orchestra, the major challenge of Tchaikovsky's 4th is to render and achieve that sense of unity through diversity. Can the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra carry it off? With Leppard at the helm, it's a fair bet that this fine American unit, paying an all too rare visit to these shores, certainly can.
Raymond Leppard conducts the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Royal Festival Hall, SE1 (0171-960 4242) tomorrow at 5pm
Life & Style blogs
Reader dilemma: 'Our son is 34 with an IQ of 85, and spends all his time in his room. What will happen to him when we're no longer here?'
Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
YouTube star Loey Lane hits back at hateful comments about ‘fat girls in bikinis’ and how plus-size women promote obesity
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...