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Yannick Nézet-Séguin condcuts the LPO

Fresh off the plane from conducting a successful run of Bizet Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin worked tirelessly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir for this evening's concert at the Royal Festival Hall. It started with Le tombeau de Couperin. There was a lot of poise in the orchestra's playing - kind of stately yet pensive at the same time. This was followed by Pavane pour une Infante défunte. The players in the orchestra caressed each and every phrase. The sound was lush and intimate - not a single harsh note. And the horns carried their parts well. Debussy's Nocturnes was next. The first of the three movement work Nuages started with the lower string section portraying floating clouds, which got darker as the piece progressed - but not angry ones. The middle movement Fête was a lot of fun with fantastic playing from the brass section. A small section of the sopranos and altos joined in the last movement Sirenes with a seductive sound - reminiscent of Ravel's Daphne and Chloé. The first half of the concert was very involving and the audience was definitely pulled into the French sound world that Nézet-Séguin wanted to invoke.
The second half of the concert included two rarely performed works: Fauré Pavane with Choir and Poulenc Stabat Mater. As a performer in these two pieces it would be inappropriate for me to review them.


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