Gergiev and the LSO at the Salle Playel for a spot of Stravinski and Ravel

playel1.jpg
Last night I was lucky enough to get tickets to see the LSO perform at the Salle Playel. The auditorium was reopened back in September after being fully refurbished. The art deco styling of the fixtures and fittings is evident throughout, even including the overhead lighting gantries.

val1.jpg

The programme, conducted by Valery Gergiev, included Debussy’s La Mer and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune as well Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: the charismatic Gergiev bringing new energy to these repetoire pieces. From the front row, it is difficult to hear the full sound of the orchestra, but instead you get the expression on the faces of the violinists as well as the sound and sweat of Gergiev conducting. This is what I mean when I say I went to see the LSO play. The Stravinsky was earth-shattering, played with unstoppable momentum right until the penultimate note which Gergiev left hanging what felt like an age before the final bang.