Concert Review: Los Angeles Philharmonic brings contemporary fare to Barbican

Posted on: March 15, 2013

In Friday’s (3/15) Telegraph (London), Ivan Hewett writes, “Faced with the challenge of winning the favours of the most spoiled musical audience in the world—London’s—visiting orchestras often play safe. Not the Los Angeles Phil. There was no sweetening of the pill for the first of their three concerts at the Barbican, no flag-waving with a bit of Bernstein or Copland. Just three straight contemporary pieces, one after another, played by that portion of the orchestra known as the LA Phil New Music Group. However the first piece, John Adam’s Son of Chamber Symphony, did strike an indubitably American note. … The Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra, by the orchestra’s timpanist Joseph Pereira, was an unashamed showpiece for the soloist, which on this occasion was the composer himself. … It was in the third piece, by the Korean composer Unsuk Chin, that a spell-binding imagination for strange sounds came together with real musical invention. Coaxed by the flexible baton of conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the players impressed with two very different sorts of virtuosity: slow transformations of colour in the entrancing melancholy slow movement, and divine lightness and wit in the third.”

Posted March 15, 2013