fri 07/08/2020

Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Libor Pešek, Cadogan Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Libor Pešek, Cadogan Hall

Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Libor Pešek, Cadogan Hall

Martinu Double Violin Concerto steals the show in an otherwise doddery performance

A young Libor Pešek:
You can't ever expect immediate liftoff from a rusty old Lada. Spluttering, shaking and rattling make up as much of the first few minutes of the experience as that of actually moving. But then, before you know it, you're halfway to Plovdiv, and you wonder what you were complaining about. It's what happened last night with Libor Pešek's Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Juddering through the first two pieces (the Polonaise from Dvořák's Rusalka and Smetana's winning Polka from The Bartered Bride) at leaden tempi, the stringed body barely hanging on, the brass and percussion engine sputtering into action, you wondered whether the orchestral banger would make it to the Martinů concerto. But it did. And, once there, with all the orchestral cogs now warmed up, this ancient rust-bucket really began to move. And pretty musically too.

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