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Abbado in London

On 11th October, 2011, Andrew Moore attented the memorable concert given by Claudio Abbado and the Luzern Festival Orchestra at the Royal festival Hall in London. Conducting as usual from memory, Abbado drew wonderful performances from this superb orchestra, of Mozart's Symphony No 35 (the Haffner) and Bruckner's Symphony No 5. Only once in the whole performance did Abbado have to give a corrective gesture when one section was playing just a little stronger than he wanted. The playing from the whole horn section in the Bruckner was sublime and truly world-class.

As a young student Andrew Moore once spent a whole week in 1975 playing under a much younger Abbado in the first violins of an international youth orchestra culminating in a performance at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall of Richard Strauss' Tod und Verklaerung (Death and Transfiguration), Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Kung Wa Chung, and Alban Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces. Abbado not only conducted the performances of these complex works from memory but also the rehearsals, consulting a miniature score only occasionally for a rehearsal letter. For a young aspiring violinist and conductor the experience of working with such a master was profound and it was a joy to see the maestro in action once again.


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