Royal Philharmonic Orchestra_Charles Dutoit_Nigel Kennedy_Palace Hall_11.09

Palace Grand Hall
Series "Great Orchestras"
Enescu - Rhapsody no. 1 in A Major
Musorgsky / Ravel - Tableaux d’une exposition (Pictures at an exhibition)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Concerto for violin and orchestra in D Major op. 61
......I've been waiting for this concert for 2 years. When the Festival was over 2 years ago I was sure that Martha Argherich would come back. Shortly after the schedule for this year was announced and she was there. Only that the artists some times change their mind and it doesn't matter that the performace is sold out or a lot of people are waiting to see her/him. I was upset. I knew that no matter who's coming it wouldn't be the same. And it wasn't. It must be very difficult for a director to find somebody willing to come on a such short notice. In opera it's easier only because they have to find someone who plays the same part. Here not only a person has to be found and brought from who knows where over night, but also that person has to play the same instrument. If this doesn't happen, then it's more difficult. The orchestra has to know the new concert. They need the scores and extra rehearsal. So insteed of Ravel and Prokofiev's piano concertos, they did Beethoven's violin concerto. And there was a change in the program. Beethoven was moved to the second part of the concert.
......Nigel Kennedy came. I saw him three times in the past. First time 4 years ago when he played Bach at the Palace Hall and jazz at the National Theatre and then 3 years ago or so, at a private function, also with jazz. He's a showman. And last night it was not the time or the place for show. I understand that this is the style, but the combination between classical and jazzy look/behaviour can be annoying or disturbing.
......The first part of the concert was more like accommodation with the orchestra. Nigel arrived that same day and I don't know if they had time to rehears. The other two parts sounded fine. He got out some touching moments. During the parts he was not playing he faced the orchestra, not the audience. And many times I felt like he's the conductor and not Dutoit. He has a leg movement... he's hitting the ground with the right leg when the melody is fast. And he moves a lot on stage. The soloist doesn't have too much space between the violins and the conductor. So Nigel was moving from violins to cellos. Left to right, right to left. And the orchestra members in the first row weren't delighted at all. From where I stood I got some angry looks.
......Please listen to this version of the concert. Berliner Philharmoniker (why do most of the times my examples involve Berliner Philharmoniker ?!?!) / Perlman / Barenboim conducting - 1992

There were two encores. The first one, a tribute to Maria Tanase. Whitout orchestra, as they were not prepared for this. He played this song last time he was here because he knows the public likes it.

......The second encore was an instrumental version of a song called "You Raise Me Up". He needed some background sounds and he asked the cellos to improvise. They weren't happy but they did it. I couldn't find the instrumental version on youtube. Just the pop song - Josh Groban. Imagine the violin instead of the voice.

......In the first part of the concert we listened to the Rhapsody #1 by Enescu and Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. I won't comment on these.
......I listened some time ago to a rendering, maybe the best one so far, of the Rhapsody. The Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache and "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra, a recording from the Athenaeum back in 1978. As a "fun fact", the first clarinet is Aurelian Octav Popa. He's still a member of this orchestra. Listen to the sound... it's amazing.

Charles Dutoit

Nigel Kennedy, at the end of the concert

The concert outfit

......The Suite is Mussorgsky's most famous piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has also become known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers, with Ravel's arrangement being the most recorded and performed.
......Here's one version that I like. Sergiu Celibidache conducting London Symphony Orchestra in 1980.

......The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is playing again on September 12th. With Horia Andreescu as conductor and Joshua Bell as soloist. I'll be there.

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  1. Din pacate Martha Argerich e cunoscuta pentru anulari. Si o face chiar la case grele precun Orchestra Simfonica din Boston.

  2. Asa este. Stiam asta. Dar am sperat ca daca vine Dutoit sa vina si ea. Sunt prieteni vechi. Asta e. Undeva in lumea asta mare o sa ajung sa o mai vad o data.

  3. Nu stiu de ce dar interpretarile versiunii la pian are Tablourilor mi se par mai reusite decat la orchestra, sau cel putin decat intepretatea pe care am auzit-o acum.

    Nigel Kennedy a comunicat cu publicul intr-un mod original si cred ca asta a placut foarte mult, cu toate ca stilul asta nu are nimic de a face cu muzica propriuzis.

  4. As zice ca interpretarea de acum. Am gasit variante mai "calme" si mult mai sugestive.
    Nigel... mda. Stilul asta este mai potrivit pentru spectacolele lui de jazz. Miscarea permanenta, datul din picior, cuvintele rostite suficient de tare in timpul piesei, gen "ya, yes" si statul cu spatele la spectatori.