EIF 2014: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Usher Hall, Review

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London Philharmonic Orchestra
Magnus Lindberg, Chorale; Bartok, Violin Concerto No 2; Beethoven, Symphony No 3 “Eroica”.
Patricia Kopatchinskaya (violin), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor)
Running time

A full-strength LPO, crammed onto the Usher Hall stage, did full justice to its opening piece by resident composer Magnus Lindberg though his Chorale antedates his tenure.

A trumpet sounding the first notes of a well-known Bach chorale provided a motif for this modern chorale. Snatches, with another Bach snippet, recurred in variant form and differing modes in a work intended to convey the countryside in all its forms. Puzzling at first hearing, the Chorale included impressive use of percussion and brass.

Bartok’s second violin concerto was completed in 1938 but he missed the premiere in Amsterdam and did not hear it performed until 1943 in America, when he was terminally ill. Its technical difficulties did not daunt Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya. Her scintillating Festival debut revealed total commitment and complete command of the instrument.

Her enthusiasm was such that she appeared to jump with joy at certain passages. Conductor Vladimir Jurowski’s relaxed control of the orchestra ensured that it matched her quality. The swiftness of her final Allegro molto was astonishing.

Concert: Monday 18th August 2014 at 8pm