Your clickable banner could be here: details
    If you cannot see an advert immediately above this line click here.


Editor: Marc Bridle


Webmaster: Len Mullenger





WWW MusicWeb

Search Music Web with FreeFind

Any Review or Article



Seen and Heard Concert Review


Kodaly, Chopin, Bartok, Gergely Boganyi (piano), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin Alsop (conductor); RFH, 19th November 2004 (AR)

Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s imaginative and well-balanced programme made for an intriguing evening ranging from the romantic to the expressionistic. The programme kicked off with an invigorating account of Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta. Ms. Alsop’s petite, elegant figure quickly established her commanding authority over the LPO, securing superb polished playing. She kept her finger on the throbbing pulse of the score, perfectly judging the constantly shifting tempi and dynamic contrasts and teasing out the lilting grace and taut angular rhythms. The LPO woodwind were paramount here, playing with witty aplomb, backed by rich, deep strings.

The thirty-year-old Hungarian pianist Gergely Boganyi proved the highlight of the evening. Sporting what appeared to be a nineteenth century black frockcoat with shiny silver buttons and long flowing hair, he could have easily been taken for Franz Liszt’s doppelganger. Boganyi’s interpretation of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto was refreshing and highly refined, with a deliberate eschewing of meretricious mannerisms throughout. The first movement had an eloquent grace, with Boganyi producing crisp and agile playing with his extraordinary lightness of touch: his fingers became fluttering butterfly wings reflecting the sun light of the notes.

For the Larghetto Boganyi changed mood and played with a distilled, almost abstracted quality, making the notes sound hauntingly bathed in a mood almost of despair; Alsop coaxed the LPO strings to produce a quivering, shimmering pool for the pianist’s shuddering notes. In the concluding Allegro vivace Boganyi played with brio and a fleeting agile grace, producing intoxicating and exuberant sounds that melted on impact. His palette was broadly tinged. What made this perfectly played performance extra special was Alsop’s first rate conducting, enticing the LPO to play with muscular incisiveness and noble power: a superbly played account all round.

After the interval we heard Chopin’s rarely played Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante, Opus 22. Now Boganyi opted for playing in a more flamboyant and exuberant manner to fit the mood of the music; here his playing was darker and weightier than in the concerto. Again Alsop secured expressive warm-blooded playing from the LPO.

Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite was something of a disappointment after Alsop’s taut and angular account of Kodaly’s Dances from Galanta. While paying the minute attention to detail demanded by this intricate and dense score, Alsop tended towards very measured and ponderous tempi, fragmenting the music and breaking its menacing development, thereby deadening its frissons. Whilst the brass had the appropriate snarling bite, the percussion were watered down, with timpani and bass drum – all-important here – being barely audible. Essentially a savage work, this performance lacked nervous tension and violence until the closing passages which finally took fire – but by then it was too late.

I hope to see both Alsop and Boganyi back with the LPO: all in all an evening with some inspired music making, played to a rather unappreciative and lacklustre audience.

Alex Russell

Further listening:

Fryderyk Chopin: Piano Concertos No. 1 & No.2; Jorge Bolet (pf), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit (conductor), Decca 425 859-2.

Bela Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin; Concerto for Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (conductor), Decca 458 841-2

Back to the Top     Back to the Index Page






MusicWeb - The International Web Site Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Classical Editor: Rob Barnett [UK],  Regular Reviewers:   Steve Arloff [UK], Guy Aron [Australia], Tony Augarde [UK], Terry Barfoot [UK], Melinda Bargreen [USA], David J. Barker [Australia], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Peter Bright [UK], Byzantion [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Evan Dickerson [UK], Gavin Dixon [UK], Robert J. Farr [UK], Christopher Fifield [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Patrick Gary [USA], Pierre Giroux [CAN], Paul C. Godfrey [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], William Hedley [France], Gary Higginson [UK], Neil Horner [UK], Robert Hugill UK], David Jennings [UK], Bill Kenny [UK], William S Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Oleg Ledeniov [USA]Rob Maynard [UK], David A McConnell [USA], Kirk McElhearn [France], Robert McKechnie [UK], Ralph Moore [RMo] [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Margarida Mota-Bull [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Carla Rees [UK], Brian Reinhart [USA], Donald Satz [USA], Mark Sealey [USA], John Sheppard [UK], George Stacy, Kevin Sutton [USA], Bert Thompson [USA], Simon Thompson [UK], Zane Turner [Australia], Steve Vasta [UK], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Derek Warby [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

MusicWeb International thank Naxos for the no-strings use of their server to mount the website.