Thursday 9th January 2014 at 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
Andris Nelsons conductor
Lars Vogt piano
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (Classical) 14′
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27, K.595 32′
Lars Vogt’s encore – Chopin Nocturne ..
It’s springtime in old Russia, and as crowds throng the Shrovetide Fair, passions are rising. But how serious can it get? After all, a puppet doesn’t have feelings… does it? 100 years on, Stravinsky’s brilliantly original ballet continues to startle and delight; while Prokofiev’s firecracker of a first symphony proves that a real popular classic can still spring a few surprises. Mind you, Mozart’s last piano concerto gives them both a run for their money – especially in the supremely skilled hands of Lars Vogt.
If you like this concert, you might also like:
Mozart and Elgar, Wednesday 19th February
Mozart’s Gran Partita, Wednesday 26th February
Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, Thursday 6th March
Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review
… “Nelsons’ footwork was indeed balletic (for a big man he is very light on his feet), and he drew a reading which was now buzzing, now subtle, wonderfully shaded and rhythmically vibrant.
The sequence of dances in the final tableau emerged as noble as those in Wagner’s Meistersinger (the dour Stravinsky would surely hate that comparison), and instrumental solos throughout added characterful contributions: Marie-Christine Zupancic’s fey flute, Rachael Pankhurst’s lugubrious cor anglais, Jonathan Holland’s incisive trumpet, and Ben Dawson’s vivid piano.
And that piano had just beforehand delivered Lars Vogt’s no-nonsense, pellucid and elegant account of Mozart’s last piano concerto, no.27 K595.
Vogt brought both crystalline clarity and well-weighted chording to his performance, confident enough in his accompanists to be able to add a discreet element of rubato where appropriate.
Less is more. No affectation here, just a pure love of this otherwordly music, communicated by all concerned.” …
Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:
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… “Since he took over the City of Birmingham Symphony five years ago, hearing Andris Nelsons reveal more of the works in his repertoire has been one of the most compelling experiences British musical life can offer. Last autumn’s announcement that he is leaving Birmingham at the end of the 2014-15 season has made each of those revelations seem even more precious. I missed his performance of Stravinsky‘s Petrushka with the orchestra in 2011, but thankfully Nelson has now returned to the work, and it’s one of the best demonstrations of just what an exceptional conductor he can be.
Performances of the second full-scale ballet Stravinsky composed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes tend to emphasise the music’s modernism, and those aspects of it that anticipate the watershed of The Rite of Spring, which came two years later. Nelsons’s intensely vivid performance, fabulously realised by the CBSO, certainly did that, but it also showed how much of 19th-century Russian music, as channelled through Stravinsky’s teacher Rimsky-Korsakov, remains in the score, too. The way in which all the teeming detail emerged in high definition, characterised with such pictorial immediacy, was a thrilling reminder that Stravinsky’s debt to his St Petersburg training hadn’t been totally discharged with The Firebird.” …