Friday, December 3, 2010

David Afkham in Paris (2)

Prokofiev-Shostakovich, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, December 2 2010

David Afkham

First part of this memorable concert was probably more interesting for those of us who --only a day before-- listened to Gil Shaham performing the same Prokofiev's Violin Concerto #2 at Pleyel. This time Sergey Khachatryan performed it also wonderfully, but in a different way. While Gil excelled in the second movement in which he employed the best of his skills and experience, Sergey actually rocked in the third movement the structure of which is particularly suited for him o exhibit his young fugue and clarity of his play. He was accompanied by Orchestre National de France soberly, conducted by David Afkham.

David Afkham and Sergey Khachatryan

But the best was still to come, and that was David Afkham magnificently conducting Orchestre National de France for Shostakovich's 10th. All the rave reviews you might read about David become perfectly justified once you see him perform. It's his precision, no extra movements or cheap gestures to win the crowd; he knows what he wants and he focuses on keeping all the strings under control; The result last night was mesmerizing.

I must also add that I was once again impressed by the quality of Orchestre National de France. The progress they've made since Daniele Gatti took over this orchestra [from Kurt Masur] is impressive. They also begin to have their own character; they are less 'blurry' or 'subdued' than they were during the years under Masur. Last night, they seemed particularly inspired; they followed David carefully and remained focused through the whole performance.  [I know this Symphony quite well and I could spot only a few tiny imprecisions, which did in no way spoil my overall appreciation. The sound of every instrument seemed discernible giving the cumulative sound (of the whole orchestra) particularly pleasant texture.

In the second mvt David opted for a tad faster tempo than what you find in Jansons' famous recording - it was "boiling". 4th mvt was splendid [this one is always special to listen to in a concert hall, as the recordings never translate the true depth of this sound].

David Afkham has got it all and I hope his career will be as brilliant as his talent is and in only several years we will be able to proudly say that we had a privilege to attend his first big concert in Paris.  Good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment