After the documentary we were treated to an all Ravel concert/Prom with Rattle's new orchestra the LSO, of which we heard Ravel's marvellous L'Enfant et les sortleges'. The playing here was particularly accomplished, but it had about it a kind of lacquered, varnished quality, which did not suit the music, and Mrs Kozena's French did not always please. But I was put off by the continual shots of Simon on the rostrum, deploying a whole range of facial grimaces, from one of overdone ecstasy, to imitations a lion cathching/consuming its prey, with the camera zooming in on Rattles mouth, with a vigorous gnashing of teeth (and some growling for good measure) every time something approaching a forte came round, and this extended to some grotesque somatic histrionics. His actual baton technique was virtually non existent, just continual up and down movements. I didn't see one player actually look at him. Such a contrast to Fischer and the Budapest Orchestra a couple of Prom nights before. As an antedote I played the old Ansermet LP of L'Enfantet et les sortileges, with an all French cast, what a difference, a real engagement with the bizarre narrative of Colette - its contrasts, and profane feel of phantasy, and even the carnivalesque, with spooky animal sounds. Of course the Suisse Romande orchestra didn't have the polish of Rattle's band (LSO), but they captured something far more valuable to this fantastic work than mere polish, which largely came from Ansermet's total identity/realisation of the play, finesse, various levels of narrative/intrumental contrast, and child-like wonder of Ravel's score. All totally lacking with Rattle.
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