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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » February 23, 2010
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London Symphony Orchestra in Concert
February 23, 2010 By Dominik Skurzak   
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One of the best orchestras in the world, the London Symphony Orchestra, played Feb. 16 at the National Philharmonic, in their first performance in Poland for over 100 years.

The concert, conducted by Valery Gergiev, featured works by Bela Bartók, Igor Stravinsky and Piano Concerto in F Minor op. 21 by Frederic Chopin. The soloist in the concerto was superb American pianist Emanuel Ax.

The London Symphony Orchestra were in Warsaw as part of the Year of Chopin and delivered a good concert. The best parts were two beautiful encores, Fantasiestücke op 12 by Schumann and Mazurka in C Major op. 24 no. 2 by Chopin.

The Piano Concerto in F Minor did not live up to the high expectations Polish listeners had of the world famous Ax. For reasons unclear, only the final part of his performance was satisfactory in terms of the lightness and verve that are needed for the piece. Ax has a mature and elegant approach to Chopin, but his interpretations lack the energy, extreme dedication and enthusiasm that are typical of Poland's Rafa³ Blechacz, the winner of the most recent international Chopin piano competition, in 2005.

The concert by the London Symphony Orchestra was organized by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute together with the Ludwig van Beethoven Association. The event was the first in a series of concerts that internationally acclaimed musicians have played in Warsaw this February and March in conjunction with the Year of Chopin.
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