wed 23/09/2020

LPO/ Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall | reviews, news & interviews

LPO/ Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall

LPO/ Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall

Barenboim may steal the column inches but the Finn steals hearts and minds

Osmo Vänskä: 'When Vänskä conducts Sibelius he doesn’t just traverse the musical landscape, he inhabits it'

Whoever said it was better to journey than to arrive might have been thinking of Sibelius. The arrivals can be pretty spectacular – as here in Osmo Vänskä's tremendous account of the Second Symphony – but the getting there – or not – is what this music is all about. When Vänskä conducts Sibelius he doesn’t just traverse the musical landscape, he inhabits it, breathing it in, feeling its pull, overawed at the threshold of where sound becomes silence and vice versa. He is Sibelius’ eternal Wanderer. Barenboim may have stolen the column inches this week but Vänskä has stolen hearts and minds. Whether or not you have ever experienced his Sibelius – get thee to the two remaining concerts.

Whoever said it was better to journey than to arrive might have been thinking of Sibelius. The arrivals can be pretty spectacular – as here in Osmo Vänskä's tremendous account of the Second Symphony – but the getting there – or not – is what this music is all about. When Vänskä conducts Sibelius he doesn’t just traverse the musical landscape, he inhabits it, breathing it in, feeling its pull, overawed at the threshold of where sound becomes silence and vice versa. He is Sibelius’ eternal Wanderer. Barenboim may have stolen the column inches this week but Vänskä has stolen hearts and minds. Whether or not you have ever experienced his Sibelius – get thee to the two remaining concerts.

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Comments

Well, guys, your passion and enthusiasm drove me along to Vanska on what should have been an evening off. I've had my problems with him in the past and I have to say that the Fifth Symphony last night was horrid (you see I don't have my critical hat on). I don't see that the way he rolls and lurches on the podium connects to the music. He seems to prod or bully individuals rather than draw the whole orchestra in with him. Some very dodgy string liaisions going on, and the big climax of the first movement failed. Some good playing, magical pianissimos, but it didn't hang together for me. And can you believe, some guy several rows in front was both filming with his mobile film and conducting along.

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