Eötvös isn’t the most inspiring of conductors to watch on the platform. More methodical and pragmatic than inspirational or visionary.
Sure, I know it’s not cricket to be quite so negative. At least, not in the first para of a review. But it is at least honest.
There is more to conducting than merely beating time. And what was striking from the off was how some of the vision was lacking from the podium. And how much I wanted to see it.
Schoenberg’s Film Music
What I perceived to be lacking may have contributed to what felt like a tentative start to the relatively unfamiliar Film Music by Schoenberg. Music written without a film to accompany
In the performance, some of the entries seemed a little flabby and indistinct, particularly in the upper strings. At times I heard an ensemble mildly out of sync between
Bartok’s Dance Suite and Stravinsky’s Three Movement symphony
Where the Philharmonia came to life was
I didn’t want to linger or languish necessarily. I just wanted a moment to
Where Eötvös was in his element was undoubtedly in the UK premiere of his
I adored it. A captivating and fascinating listen full of complex and thought-provoking orchestrations. A performance begging for an annotated score.
I especially loved the mild acid-trip combination of church and Hammond organ. Reminiscent of family holidays in the late 70s/early 80s, trips made more bearable by a series of Famous Five adventures on cassette tape.
Multiversum was a three-dimensional celebration of sound. Film music without an actual film getting in the way. Loved it.
The Philharmonia performed at the Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 7 February 2019.