Jukka-Pekka Sarastre conducts London Philharmonic at Royal Festival Hall

I feel less qualified to talk about classical music than any other art form, so will just say that I saw Jukka-Pekka Sarastre conduct the London Philharmonic. The programme was Beethoven’s Overture, Egmont followed by Bohuslav Martinů’s Violin Concerto No.2 with Frank Peter Zimmermann as the soloist. After the interval, there was a performance of the thoroughly modern The Stations of the Sun, by Julian Anderson and the evening was rounded off with Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No.5.

I much preferred the latter two pieces, and found the violin concerto a bit soporific in parts, especially the slower second movement. I didn’t think I’d like the Anderson piece but, as the programme says, he is “uncompromisingly” part of the “modernist mainstream”, so perhaps it was a good introduction to more contemporary classical music. A rare foray into orchestral performance for me, but an enjoyable one. I can’t comment on how “good” it was, but the audience certainly seemed appreciative. 8/10

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