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
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...