Something specific perfumed our atmosphere inside the Royal Festival Hall and on the stage, last Friday. Intangible scents from Eastbound depths of Europe, musical impressions of other historical perspectives, performers whose roots aren’t duplicating with ours, maybe.
When Ilyich Rivas, Venezuelian-born conductor with a name reminiscent of revolutionary days, stepped on the stage to beat the first measures of Dvorák‘s Scherzo capriccioso for the London Philarmonic Orchestra, we knew that the night would be an amazing display of auditive fireworks. The LPO is ensemble with an incredible firepower as well as sharp savoir-faire. Rivas’ was radiant with bliss at each any every second of a piece he knew by heart – no stand and sheets for him there, and may I say… no shoes at his long feet? Discreet fantaisies one affords when the music is so tight! Yes, Rivas only wore socks.
Pianist Simon Trpceski joined forces for Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No. 1 in B flat minor. Trpceski’s was merely calm and in control. Any pianist could have witnessed beautiful hand movements and attacking positions, sometimes betraying a candid elation, exempli gratia flickering the fingers in the air between two vast arpeggios.
The hall’s second half rocked under Mahler’s Blumine, paving the way for the Shostakovich’s ambitious Sympony No. 1 in F minor, an inspired epic whose composition frame corresponds with civil war in Russia. It portrayed a successive series of pictures from an early revolution, depicting rural landscapes from the East troubled by combat actions and truces, dreadful aftermaths, bitter relief, the celebration of a parade, etc.
Stricto sensu is The London Philharmonic Orchestra a war machine. This formation is stunning in every respect, and excluding the matter of subjective tastes, I can’t think of any relevant reproach that could possibly be done. I was left fulfilled on a cloud of notes and dreams, not forgetting as well to salute Rivas and Trpceski for their lively perceptions and serene virtuosity.