Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Orchestra Comes of Age

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Orchestra Comes of Age

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA HOOK

LONDON FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA ** (very good) Royal Festival Hall

THE London Festival Orchestra has just celebrated its 21st birthday. Like most of its coevals, it has grown out of its adolescent awkwardness and acquired a certain maturity without losing its youthful zest and zip.

Clarinettist Anthony Pike, on the other hand, has looked about 12 since he participated in the BBC's Young Musician of the Year in the early Eighties.

His Mozart Clarinet Concerto, without music, combined the kind of silken, sensuous sound that makes you want to rush off and propose marriage on the off-chance of having children who can play with such beautiful phrasing and technical fluency. He rollicked daintily through the last-movement Rondo with a joy worthy of a world premiere, adding a few blink-and-you'll-missthem decorations to the coda, just because he could. Triple backflips with Pike.

The quality chamber playing that has become an LFO hallmark blew the dust off Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals. …

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