Home Opera Phrases are insufficient to explain Vadim Gluzman’s spotless Shostakovich with the Philharmonia – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Phrases are insufficient to explain Vadim Gluzman’s spotless Shostakovich with the Philharmonia – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Phrases are insufficient to explain Vadim Gluzman’s spotless Shostakovich with the Philharmonia – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United KingdomUnited Kingdom Sibelius, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss: Vadim Gluzman (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra / Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor). Royal Competition Corridor, London, 4.2.2024. (AK)

The Philharmonia Orchestra carried out by Santtu-Matias Rouvali with Vladim Gluzman on violin (beforehand on the RFH) © Mark Allan

Sibelius – Andante festivo
Shostakovich – Violin Concerto No.2
R. Strauss – Tod und Verklärung, Op.24; Until Eulenspiegel’s lustige Streiche, Op.28

I’m not certain if the very fascinating however heavy programme of this live performance was a good selection for a Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, one may argue {that a} programme like this exactly wants an alert and totally centered viewers which a live performance on the weekend is eminently appropriate to draw. At any occasion, there was good attendance though I wish to see extra kids at a Sunday afternoon live performance.

The mild Sibelius piece was fantastically performed. It is rather very like a tune, whether or not a people tune or a devotional hymn, with the oft repeated two-bar motive (coincidentally equivalent rhythm with the primary two bars of the principle motive, fourth motion, Dvořák’s New World Symphony) probably suggesting hope (or despair?). Initially composed for a string quartet (1922), Sibelius later organized the piece for string orchestra and timpani (1938) with added double basses largely doubling the cellos and the timpani becoming a member of solely within the final 4 bars to accentuate the ultimate climax. Clearly in full sympathy with the piece, Rouvali carried out with no baton and with nice sensitivity, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s strings responded with masterly cantilena taking part in.

The Shostakovich concerto is an enormous ask from the soloist. Composed for David Oistrakh for his sixtieth birthday, the composition calls for bodily in addition to emotional stamina, virtuoso method and, final however not least, an understanding of Shostakovich’s musical and factual world. Oistrakh had all these attributes as has Vadim Gluzman …the concerto was in the very best arms at this live performance.

Composed late in his life, on this concerto the significantly unwell Shostakovich primarily presents darkness which underlines his melodies, marches, dances, and virtuosity. About half an hour in size, the concerto occupies the soloist all through, there are not any stress-free moments (as typically in violin concertos) whereas tutti passages can be delivered by the orchestra. Right here there’s robust interplay between soloist and orchestra; members of the Philharmonia distinguished themselves as dignified and totally ready companions.

Gluzman’s violin tone was by no means pressured, his plentiful polyphonic passages had been crystal clear, his cantilena sections informed the story and his interaction with orchestra (specifically, with flute and horn) was a masterclass in ensemble taking part in. As for the lengthy and troublesome solo cadenzas, phrases are insufficient to explain Gluzman’s spotless supply. My visitor for the live performance was the violinist Gyorgy Pauk who some forty years in the past carried out the concerto with conductor Kirill Kondrashin, Oistrakh’s conductor for a similar piece. On the conclusion of Gluzman’s efficiency, Maestro Pauk mentioned: ‘that is the way in which to play it’.

After which, after the half-hour marathon, Gluzman nonetheless delivered his encore (Silverstov’s Serenade) with exemplary cantilena voice main over his polyphonic double-stop accompaniment.

Despite being of a sure age, this was my first encounter with Richard Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung. I used to be overwhelmed by the massive orchestra – elevated to 10 cellos and eight basses, plus two harps – however I understood/appreciated the lyrical sections gently delivered by conductor Santtu-Matias Rovali and his forces. Nonetheless, by and huge I used to be misplaced within the soundscape: that is, I emphasise, can be my ignorance, most likely not the fault of the efficiency. However, I now listened to the composer’s recording (Berlin State Opera Orchestra, 1926) and consequently the construction is clearer to me. Nonetheless, Philharmonia’s live performance grasp Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay introduced his violin solo with exemplary ability and self-discipline; moreover, the entire orchestra delivered with full dedication.

Until Eulenspiegel is less complicated to grasp (than the Tod und Verklärung) and over the many years I did come throughout it a number of instances. Confronted with even a bigger orchestra (than in Tod und Verklärung) – no harps however loads of percussion devices – the huge sound of an orchestra usually dominated one’s notion. However, the humour of the story and Strauss’s music shone by way of and the virtuosity of the Philharmonia (before everything the horn representing Until and once more the abilities of chief Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay) was evident all through.

Agnes Kory



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