You Review: zen and the art of conducting

Reader Callum Speed enjoys Robin Ticciati's exploration of music by Ravel, Mahler and Hosokawa with the LSO

You Review: zen and the art of conducting

With themes of spirituality an ever increasing entity in popular culture, 'Zen and the Art of Conducting' was a huge fishing net, reeling in audience members that otherwise may not have found themselves at the Barbican this evening.

The concert on 25 January began with a relatively new work, Blossoming II, by Japanese composer Toshia Hosokawa. The piece has a wonderful atmosphere that draws you in and Ticciati shaped its pure serenity elegantly. Although Hosokawa also evokes strong passion it it, in order to remain true to the serene concept, this wasn't translated in tonight's performance.

Having taken two years to write, Ravel's Piano Concerto expresses the composer's love for jazz. This acutely clean performance was pleasant: soloist Simon Trpčeski’s performance was nothing less than stunning, but sadly the brass section sounded like an after thought.

Trpčeski gave us an encore afterwards, which was gratefully received. The talented pianist danced up and down the keys merrily and, just before the final chord, nodded at the audience with a cheeky grin. This charming performance left the audience giddy.

Mahler's Fourth Symphony returned the evening to tranquility. The moment mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill stepped on stage, nothing else mattered. She sat through the third movement, captivating the entire audience as she closed her eyes and meditated on the ethereal music surrounding her. She sang with ease and purity, filling the hall with her sound. It was the perfect way to end a sublime evening. 


Callum Speed, London



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