Among this year's various Ballets Russes centenary commemorations came a nicely conceived programme of music by some of the composers who ensured their immortality. There's nothing like hearing this music without the distraction of men cavorting in tights to remember what wonderfully crafted orchestral work so much of it is.

Debussy's Jeux, for instance, was conceived by Diaghilev and Njinsky as a homoerotic shocker. But the choreography, and the absurd plot about the fumblings of three tennis players, proved instantly forgettable. Not so Debussy's music, which is pure grace. Magical harmonic and timbral shifts hang off a gently unfolding arabesque, leaving the listener weightless. Such effects, of course, require quite an orchestra. The LSO is just such an orchestra.

This was demonstrated time and again during the concert: in Stravinsky's lithe dictionary of neoclassical techniques, Jeux de Cartes; in Boléro, where the largely motionless Gergiev simply wound up his players and let Ravel's magnificent clockwork masterpiece get on with unravelling itself. The depth of talent was also revealed in Richard Strauss's oboe concerto, in which the orchestra's principal Emanuel Abbühl delivered the solo part's serpentine writhings with a perfectly judged mixture of passion and poise.

The greatest touch of all, however, came in the opening work. Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante Défunte received a performance which carried the listener breathlessly into a dance of entirely spiritual dimensions. Both demanding and obtaining a control over his orchestra which only pianists should reasonably expect from their instruments, Gergiev has always aimed high with the LSO. With this concert, they hit the bullseye.

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