An utterly remarkable Fantasy and Fury London Symphony Orchestra concert

Seen and Heard International

“Batiashvili’s performance was full of fire, imbued with the spirit of discovery (the arrival of a reference to the Allegretto from the Seventh Symphony felt perfectly fresh). The sense of expectation at the cadenza opening, the sense that anything could happen, was particularly pronounced.

This freshness extended to the realisation of Beethoven’s writing, too, both from the soloist and the orchestra. Gianandrea Noseda’s orchestral exposition was lean, characterised by a notable attention to detail. Hard-sticked timpani – that return in the cadenza, incidentally – aided that sense of clarity. When Batiashvili entered, it was clear she was on the same interpretative page, as her sound, so sweetly singing, was perfectly focused, her projection perfect. Structurally, the first movement emerged impeccably. One might point to Batiashvili’s technical excellence (phenomenal trills in particular), but in reality, it was the starting point for an interpretation of stature.”

Seen and Heard International

“The Beethoven concerto represents both the summit of the Classical and the benchmark for the many Romantic concertos that followed it. When presenting the work, performers need to hold both these elements in balance. Supported by clean-cut playing from the LSO with an alert Gianandrea Noseda at the helm, Lisa Batiashvili achieved this balance to near perfection. From her entrance, she held onto the long lyrical lines with poise, shaping them effortlessly and naturally, using subtle vibrato to create a delicate and tasteful range of colours. Nothing was out of place nor exaggerated, but neither did it ever sink into routine. She held her concentration across the expanse of the long first movement, with every gesture and effect seeming to have a purpose… The excellence of the playing from all concerned was breathtaking, with Batiashvili reaching new heights of communicativeness. The Rondo finale was played at an equally high level; taken at a fast tempo, its energy and largely carefree atmosphere was projected almost with glee.”