Performer: Gergiev, Valery
Continuing their Shostakovich cycle, the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev brought the Fourth and Ninth Symphonies to the Salle Pleyel, as well as the Concerto for Piano and Trumpet, with pianist Daniil Trifonov.
Violist Antoine Tamestit didn’t seem like much a soloist at the opening of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy on Tuesday night, in Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra’s second performance of this programme at the Barbican. His viola lolling casually at his side, Tamestit gazed pleasantly at the orchestra, nodding along with them from time to time.
What is there to say about Hector Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette? A “dramatic symphony” in seven movements, featuring small and large choruses, and three soloists (two of whom sing for around five minutes each and one who sings for around 30), as well as a treasure trove of unusual instrumental combinations and sounds, it is safe to say this is something of an odd bird.
A smattering of confused applause greeted gay rights activist Peter Tatchell to the Barbican Hall’s stage before the first instalment of the London Symphony Orchestra’s Berlioz cycle under Valery Gergiev.
“Gergiev, your silence is killing Russian gays!” Activists from Queer Nation had disrupted opening night at the Metropolitan Opera three weeks ago, and with demonstrations outside it was almost inevitable that the same protests would accompany the start of the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra’s three-concert stay at Carnegie Hall.