18 Nov 2010

The pupped player

I pampered myself with the Mahler Anniversary concert of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.

After Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, Mahler’s setting for voice and orchestra of five poems by Friedrich Rückert didn’t really get me.

The French contralto Nathalie Stuzmann put her best German on and had an amazing range of octaves. Still without a microphone it seemed to me her voice ceased to exist in this generous hall.

‘I am dead to the world’s commotion and at peace in a still land’, she sang over a delicate harp-seasoned orchestra. 

Ravel hit it off
In Ravel’s Suites Nos. 1 and 2, Daphnis et Chloé the Japanese conductor Kazushi Ono and its orchestra were fabulous. 

I liked how he played the puppet player and I could see, he’s more than enjoying what he is doing. It even felt like those were the compositions they were all waiting for after starting off with the slower pieces.

The hall wasn’t fully booked; the royal gallery was empty (they really have bigger problems to cope with right now) and the applause wasn’t overwhelming. Still, if I like a concert I expect to get encores. There wasn’t one.

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