BRIGHTON FESTIVAL: London Symphony Orchestra

Oh, where to begin with this one? With the fact that the opening concert of Brighton's 50th Festival should be something really special? Or that from adversity can come triumph?

Review. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150912-143636001
Review. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150912-143636001

Or that the concert was a world class performance?

Let’s start with the second.

Unfortunately, conductor Daniel Harding was ill which meant some last minute changes as soloist Leif Ove Andsers conducted the Mozart No. 20 from the piano or that guest conductor Claus Peter Flor stepped in for the Bruckner.

With the piano facing the Orchestra, Andsers commanded one of the world’s greatest orchestras in a sympathetic and lyrical rendition of the famous 20th.

The second movement in particular was handled with delicacy and sensitivity, building to intense climaxes as the movement progressed.

After the interval came the Bruckner. Now I have had issues with Bruckner in the past; I find that there can be a lack of cohesion in his work with themes introduced, toyed with but never really developed (particularly the 6th). However, under the magisterial baton of Claus Peter Flor, the LSO shaped and moulded the symphony into a thrilling journey.

The 2nd movement has never been more sinister and the 5th had the auditorium shaking with the power of the playing.

It helped that the traditional layout of an orchestra had been abandoned; the strings were split left and right which gave a wonderful stereo effect.

The tumultuous applause that the audience gave spoke for itself. A truly world class evening’s music and a stunning start to Brighton’s 50th!

London Symphony Orchestra - Mozart piano concerto 20 and Bruckner symphony 3 - Brighton Dome, 7th May.