Wednesday, November 19, 2014

London Symphony Orchestra & Valery Gergiev

This round, I wanted to hear the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) more than to watch its principal conductor Valery Gergiev (also Mariinsky Theatre's Artistic and General Director). Pianist Denis Matsuev was also featured. But it's LSO as a whole that I want to hear. I've heard them and it's always a pleasure.

Skipped the second evening of Prokofiev and chose to hear LSO's presentation for the first evening comprising Shostakovich's 'Festive Overture', and Rachmaninov's 'Piano Concerto No.2' for the first half, then Rachmaninov's 'Symphony No.3'. I like the repertoire of both evenings. Different from the usual composers and pieces every other orchestra seems to pick when performing in Singapore. Very brave of LSO to do that. I'm not sure the audience welcomed it and while I enjoy Prokofiev, I don't know how many feel the same. Since I wouldn't be attending the second performance, I appreciated one encore piece that was Prokofiev's 'The Love for Three Oranges, Op 33'. Cackled uncontrollably at another encore piece on piano. I like it, not just because The International Ibsen Festival is going on. The piano encore totally complemented Denis Matsuev's brash style and seemingly preferred pace. :P You know this one, it's Grigory Ginzburg's arrangement of Edvard Greig's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' or 'Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op 46'.

Oddly, there wasn't a standing ovation for the performance which I thought was more than competent. But aside from the scattered few of us who stood up after the encore, the hall evidently didn't share our sentiments. Whatever. The magic that is LSO. Very nice. What a pity I'm not watching their second performance. They do Prokofiev so well.

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