EIF 2014: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 01, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Shostakovich, Symphony No 1 in F minor; Ravel, Piano Concerto in G major; Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No 2.
Mariss Jansons (conductor), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano)
Running time

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra waited until the last minute before all the players came on to the stage. And that's just a small example of the orderliness that has given it a worldwide reputation. Mariss Jansens is another part of its success no doubt helped by his engaging smile to the difference groups of players as he wields his baton. He has nifty way of relegating the baton when not needed to his left hand.

Shostakovich's First Symphony was composed whilst he was in his late teens at the Petrograd Conservatory and with its liveliness and humour on the one hand, and drama and tragedy on the other was an instant success. In its second movement we heard the cellos racing ahead of the slow coach double basses but by the end all have slowed down.

Maurice Ravel spent several months of 1928 in the United States where he met George Gershwin and in New Orleans encountered jazz. Jazz was a great influence a year later as he composed his Piano Concerto in G major. We heard from the piano Frenchman Jean-Yves Thibaudet's particularly sensitive interpretation. The audience loved it.

Ravel's ballet, Daphnis et Chloé, was commission by Sergei Diaghilev in 1909 and premiered in Paris 1912. Ravel extracted two suites - and the three movements of Suite No 2 come largely from the second half of the work and ended happily with the very familiar Danse général.

Concert: Wednesday 27th August 2014 at 8pm