Ticciati Mutter et al at RFH

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Philip M
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Ticciati Mutter et al at RFH

Post by Philip M » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:51 pm

Tonight’s London Philharmonic concert at the Royal Festival Hall brought back memories for me. The first half was Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, with soloists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pablo Ferrández and Khatia Buniatishvili. The conductor was Robin Ticciati.

Memories because some 40 years ago I heard Mutter in this concerto in the same hall. That performance was with Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Zeltser and the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan. How Mutter has changed over the years. Back then she had passion and beauty of tone, vivacity and tenderness. I also heard her give a wonderful performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, with Rostropovich as conductor, at Aldeburgh in the mid 80s. Sadly over the years she has changed and I now find her playing cold. A few years ago she played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Symphony Hall in Birmingham and as an encore played the slow movement of Winter. It was so appropriate, given her coldness!

I found her cold tonight. The tone was not there either. The cellist was the star of the 3 soloists. He played with character and passion, enjoying the chamber music aspects of this piece. Fortunately the cellist leads most of the tunes. Buniatishvili lacked presence. For some reason her Steinway D seemed very remote.

I have to say that I don’t particularly like the Triple Concerto. It has an excellent slow movement, but the long first movement has what I call Brucknerian characteristics - the tune is repeated and repeated and repeated.....

Ticciati was excellent in the Beethoven - he is so cultured. Everything had logic.

He excelled too in the second half, Mahler’s 1st. Every inner detail could be heard (despite the awful acoustic of RFH) and at the same time Ticciati kept the line and architecture clear. The variety was there too - the first movement started almost ethereally and developed ultimately to a huge climax. The second movement was a very Viennese Ländler, whilst bleakness reigned in the slow movement, before the release and joy of the finale. He really is a super conductor.

I fear that UK concerts will join the rest of Europe tomorrow and cease to happen till Coronavirus is beaten. So this may sadly be my last concert for a while 😥


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