Maestro Petrenko, the Prom tonight was breath-taking. I was watching you the entire time with the BBC's Maestro Cam and with my score and baton I was taking every detail of your conducting into my brain. You did a phenomenal job and it was an honour to watch. One day, I dream of conducting an orchestra at the RAH...congratulations and I can't wait to see you conducting again soon :) Keval
The joy and technique that you managed to channel from the orchestra was just wonderful. I felt so much rewarded and humbled by the experience. It is wonderful to know that you have taken such responsibility and are enriching our musical scene.Thank you.
Hi Vasily. I too thought your conducting was truly wonderful. You led, encouraged, guided and coaxed the orchestra and I guess some watching would think you did that especially for the young people of the NYO, but having seen you many times in Liverpool, I know you conduct like that all the time. It's no surprise that orchestras love playing for you and that you inspire them to better and better performances. I can't imagine how you ever relax with your work schedule and the effort you put into everything. I was so glad the commentator mentioned your left hand, I am always going on about it and sometimes feel I am the only person who is impressed by it, to my occasional embarrassment.The programme last night was great too. It was interesting to hear Stephen talking about the piano piece later, the opening is so familiar to us all that it's easy to think we know it, but obviously there is a lot more to it. The second composer I did not know at all, it was a workout for the orchestra and well done all of them. I came across Respighi in recent years, introduced by a friend and I like his music, you will be conducting Church Windows shortly at the Cathedral here.I always enjoy your concerts, but last night was something extra special and I bet those kids from NYO will be remembering it all their lives. They are so lucky to have you with them.Hope your family have been with you while you have been away from Liverpool for so long.JillPS - did I hear last night that you were playing football with NYO wearing a Liverpool FC strip? Hmmmmm!!
You have inspired these brilliant youngsters to communicate all that youthful energy, vigor and enthusiasm during that marvellous performance last night.In the Tchaikovsky, we had all that but also you plumbed the profound depths of poetic emotion in that piece which as Hough comments, 'could so easily fall off the cliff'.You demonstated all this in the second half with two spectacular orchestral pieces such that by the end l was in tears - totally overwhelmed by the whole thingand today l am able to experience it all again online.Thank you so much for the way in which you so wonderfully inspire these tremendously talented youngsters.You have given us one of the most memorable concerts l have ever heard and l feel humbled by this brilliant demonstration of such tremendous musicianship.
Good Afternoon.Thank you for last night's TV proms, it was very engaging and enjoyable. It was very clear that the orchestra enjoyed themselves and well done to them all!
Hi VasilyI only watch television very rarely, so I didn't see how it looked, but the sound was tremendous and it's just fantastic that the musicians are so good at their young age. What a wonderful hope for the future!It's always great to hear music that is not familiar too, and so I was really pleased to start to get to know the Lutoslawski where you really got a very memorable performance from the musicians. I know quite a bit of Respighi, but I'd never heard last night's before (a Prom first); it was great fun and the sound was impressive. Once again you had the players sounding like seasoned virtuosi who really responded to the challenge of difficult music.I've got 7 January in my diary for a concert by the NYO in Liverpool, but there don't seem to be any details available for this yet, so I keep looking!(Great to see comments from some new people on the blog.)All the best
Hi Vasily and all,There isn't much I can add to the praise, except that I really enjoyed last nights' concert, particularly the Tchaikovsky and Respighi. It was like sitting in the Phil hearing them. I also liked what you said in the pre-recorded interview. The orchestra and audience seemed very appreciative and I hope you were pleased with everything. I also enjoyed reading BBC Music Magazines' interview with you in this months' issue, especially your observations on the differences between Russian and British audiences!.Thank you for 'adopting' Liverpool and the NYO so wholeheartedly.All the best.
Hello Vasily. I have your excellent recordings of "Manfred" and Shostakovich 11 but this was the first time I'd seen you conduct and was hugely impressed by your inspirational approach to the NYO. I particularly enjoyed the Lutoslawski and that outrageous Respighi piece. I thought the concert was a triumph and I admire very much what you're doing with the RLPO and the NYO. All good wishes, Tim.
Hello VasilyIt was a wonderful concert last night.full of life and joy. Many thanks to you and the young people of the orchestra.Robin, catch it on BBCi player if you can, watching it does add an extra dimension to the enjoyment, like Karen says it was like being in the HallBest Wishes
4 stars in The Guardian and The Times - very good and much praise for Vasily and the players, but why are the critics so mean with the fifth star?? Rather miserly 3 stars from Edward Seckerson in The Independent ... will The Telegraph do better?Vasily - listened yet again last night to your recording of Shostakovich's 11th symphony. If, as you say, the next releases in the cycle will sound even better then they'll be sensational! Can't wait.
Hello Gillian especially this time!Thanks for recommending viewing the concert on BBC iPlayer, which I did this evening. I won't say it sounded better that I when I just listened on the radio - it still sounded fantastic! - but seeing it and the interviews etc. certainly added a greater dimension to the experience. The first time I've really seen the expressions on Vasily's face while he's conducting - and the size of the orchestra was as awe-inspiring as the playing.It's well worth listening to such a memorable concert again while it's available on iPlayer.
Hi everyone, there is an article in 17 Aug Echo titled "will there be orchestral manoeuvres to a car park". It is putting the question of a new hall in the public domain. This is our opportunity for a discussion, see the Echo website.JillPS to Vasily. I don't suppose you get much time to watch TV, but I wanted to ask what you think of those cute Russian meerkats advertising ComparetheMarket.com. The new buzz word seems to be "simples".
HelloGood to see the "Manfred Symphony" has been nominated in the best orchestral recording category in the Gramophone magazine awards. Hope it is successfulGillian
Vasily,I also watched on Maestro cam, and loved the Lutoslawski!Well done.Mike
Hello Vasily and allSorry – this is long, and it was so long that it was disallowed, so I'm splitting it up and will add another comment in a minute!Well, we seem to have suddenly gone fast-forward into the new season and I’m sure that all of us who are going are much looking forward to Thursday’s opening concert! Great to start off with the brilliant Simon Trpceski and Vasily conducting Shosatakovich, and so much to look forward to, not only at the Phil but new Shostakovich symphony releases and Vasily’s new website among other things. After the fantastic NYO Prom, I’m still eagerly awaiting an announcement of the NYO’s Liverpool concert that Vasily said would be 7 January! (NYO website very out of date.)Well, the Trpceski/Petrenko experience has been sold out for a long time now, and other tickets seem to be selling fast with limited availability for a lot of concerts throughout the season. There are only a very few tickets left, for instance, for the concert on 17/18 March even with two performances – I know this from the facility to choose your own seats when booking online from the new Phil website and congratulations to all concerned on the new features on the website. But that’s an interruption because the limited availability for many concerts is leading me back to the new hall/refurbished hall issue. I hope that it’s going to be possible to debate this, though to do so most effectively may have to wait for the AGM when Michael’s promised a further report. I'm going to give my opinion on this in a separate message.Enjoy the forthcoming concerts – I shall enjoy being back in the familiar surroundings of Philharmonic Hall and I’ll continue to be fond of it even if, as I believe we should, get a new hall!Best,Robin
Hello againThe issue of new hall/redevelopment was aired prominently in the Echo feature that Jill drew our attention to. In favour of a new hall: (1) increased capacity to match that available to every other British orchestra outside London (needed if upward the trend in ticket sales continues, and needed anyway in relation to large-scale works); (2) iconic status and better location, creating a tourist draw; (3) compatibility with the aim of making the RLPO pre-eminent in Britain and greater elsewhere; (4) the creation of a greater range of more flexible spaces for the widest possible range of events (cf. The Sage, Poole Lighthouse, Symphony Hall, The Bridgewater etc.) including more staged or semi-staged opera, singspiel etc.; (5) ability to attract the finest conductors, other musicians and orchestras/ensembles to Liverpool; (6) ability to provide the best possible non-performance spaces; (7) greatly increased accessibility, both for mobility and other handicaps and for car users; (8) an even better acoustic than we already have (other major cities actually have venues with a better acoustic); (9) adding income potential through the provision of good conference facilities etc.In favour of making what improvements are possible to Philharmonic Hall are: (1) it cannot be afforded; (2) we all love the Hall (it is iconic) and don’t want to leave it; (3) if we desert the Hall, we will lose audience and won’t need extra capacity! Actually, I can’t really think of other good reasons against a new hall, so perhaps some people will come up with some. We don’t know if we will lose any audience by leaving the Hall as the principal home of the RLPO, the LPYO and the choirs – it could still be retained for a suitable range of events as it is a fine building (at any rate inside) and is certainly not unusable. (The old Free Trade Hall in Manchester was not a fine building for concerts and yet many members of the Hallé audience wanted to stay there until they saw the improvement they got with the construction of the Bridgewater Hall!) A new hall in Liverpool, on the other hand, might well attract large numbers of new members to the audience and continue the upward trend. That leaves, at least in my view, the financial imperative and we need to hear what the professionals have to say here because most of us contributing to the blog know nothing of raising large sums of money for public projects – though now that Everyman Playhouse redevelopment has been essentially enabled, perhaps the City Council would be able to prioritise a new concert hall. Nobody is in any doubt that something needs to be done at least to redevelop the Hall and so major funds ofwill have to be raised. So, in this sense, the new hall/redevelopment options come down to the level of funds needed and, the greater the ambition for the future, the greater the level of funding needed. Recognise, too, that going for redevelopment of the Hall will remove the option of a new hall for a generation just as such a decision did when the Hall was last refurbished.Isn’t this all about ambition? We want the Phil to grow and improve to the peak of its potential. Now, Vasily is constantly raising standards, and more people want to hear the concerts. Redevelopment rather than a new hall will restrict this momentum because the Hall is at its maximum capacity and redevelopment may even have to reduce the capacity when people increasingly can’t get tickets. Secondly, to retain (if possible) Vasily’s services or to attract someone as good, we have to offer the best possible facilities. These is only possible in a new hall because, however good the redevelopment, it can only be a compromise with the kind of facilities that could be provided in a new venue. Even Vasily now says that for financial reasons we may in the end have to accept this compromise, but shouldn’t we try for the ambitious option? Liverpool was not founded on defeatism and it was not lack of ambition that led to Liverpool having one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world.Robin
Hi Robin and all,Thank you for your information. I guess that privatisation is the only answer for a new hall. £50 million pounds is alot of money for the local authorities to fund a new hall. Hope you enjoy the concert on Thursday.
Hello RobinRegarding the NYO concert, it is on the'whats on' section of the website. but for some reason they have it down for today(8TH Sept).When you click though it is, as you say, on the 7th January taking bookings nowGillian
Hi Robin, Gillian and Jane. My first question for you Robin is where would you envisage a new hall being built? It surely can't be near the waterfront since the traffic is already crazy when there is an event on at the Arena.My second point is that I was sorry there was not more discussion after the Echo article. It was an opportunity for the Echo and the general Liverpool population to see some passion expressed on behalf of the Phil and to put the whole place more on the public agenda. A lot of new people attended the Phil during 2008 for different types of event and we should try to keep their interest engaged. As it is, the discussion will continue on the blog (as far as we are concerned) and it just gets us nowhere - other than going round in circles.I am getting excited about Thursday and thanks, Gillian, for the info. about the NYO concert.Jill
Me again - forgot to say thank you to all those who joined the "No Tesco on Hope Street" group on Facebook. Long live people power!!Jill
Hi Jane, Gillian and JillI admit, Jane, that £50 million would be a lot of funding for local authorities, only one of which in this are funds the Phil properly! I wasn't trying to say it would be easy (and may prove to be impossible), but it's been done before. We are probably talking about a bigger sum - the Sage Gateshead cost around £70m, but had £47m lottery-funded capital grant and others with smaller amounts from local authorities. Of course, that's funding that's being diverted to the Olympics in great measure, which makes it more difficult, but I do think this must be explored!The Echo article didn't really get us anywhere Jill, I know, and it was the wrong time to extend the debate at peak holiday season. It won't get us anywhere just going round in circles on the blog, but I'm sure we will get a chance to say things at the AGM. In the meantime I may rattle Michael Eakin's cage again and try to come up with ideas for widening the debate in other places than this. I'll return to the subject! I'll also get back on where a new hall might be located. (Glad we're not getting Tesco in Hope Street; apart from anything else, there's one around every corner in the city centre).Thanks Gillian for info about the NYO concert. I've bought some tickets now - a lot already gone I see - anfd hope the Phil notices they've listed the concert in the wrong place. I'll send an email tomorrow if it's not changed.I'm sure we are all going to enjoy a fabulous concert on Thursday!Robin
Hi Robin, my point about the Echo was intended for nearer to home. I think we - the people who regularly talk about a new hall - should have made more of the opportunity. As far as I know, mine was the only comment even though the article was on Catherine's blog page for quite a while. I thought more comments might have kept it on the Echo website pages for longer too.Jill
Hi JillI know what you were saying in relation to the Echo article, but that's why I thought it was unfortunate that it appeared in the holiday season when activity on this blog was very low. By the time that I picked up on it, it seemed too late to get things going, so I waited until I thought there'd be more people around.NYO concert has now completely gone from the Phil website, so I've sent an email to ask for it to be reinstated on its correct date.Robin
Hello all.You are right Robin about the funding and I am sorry that no-one else left a comment on the Echo article. However, I did read it and I thought that all the vital points had been made. I too was on the 'no Tesco on Hope Street' facebook group. Maybe the phil could use the space in Hope Street as its booking office or shop?All the best.
Hi VasilyI've just seen the tremendous news that you're going to stay in Liverpool until 2015! This is the best news possible for music lovers in Liverpool (and the whole of the UK) and I'd just say so many thanks for all you've done so far. Now I'm really looking forward to what you achieve next. I'm sure a vast number of people will be ecstatic that you are staying and give you all the support you need. Thank you!!Isn't that wonderful - better than most of us wished for, though I had an inkling that something might happen when I saw Vasily's title as 'Chief Conductor' on some Phil notepaper a while ago. That apparently is to be his new title - and rightly so!All the very best Vasilyand best to allRobin
Hi JaneSo overwhelmed at the news of Vasily staying that I forgot to say this!Of course, if the Phil moved the box office and other retail out of the Hall, it would probably help in creating more space front of house and that would be a good thing. However, moving things out of the Hall can't increase the capacity of the auditorium - nothing can - and I think that's one of the most cogent reasons for a new hall.Best, Robin
Hi Vasily - it's wonderful news that you are staying longer at the Phil. Apart from all the musical reasons which have been mentioned elsewhere, you are especially dear to us because you joined in the life of Liverpool from the day you arrived and have truly become 'one of us' and we all love you for it.It also suggests that your family are happy here which is great and that young Sasha will be able to complete his primary education at the same school.I hope you achieve all your dreams for the Phil in the coming years. Thank you so much, it's the best news!Jill
Hi Vasily. Surprised to see that no-one has yet commented on last week's concert, but I do believe we were all overwhelmed and bowled over by your short speech. I am sure I speak for many people when I say that the feeling is mutual and our love and thanks are returned to you a thousand-fold. It's fantastic that you see us and the Phil as more than "a job" but as a family relationship of support and admiration.I enjoyed the opening concert very much, spectacular talents on display. We are so lucky.Jill
Hello Everyone.I really enjoyed the concert on Thursday, especially Simon's playing. I agree with the Liverpool Echo; that it was a powerful performance. Regarding the speech, it is nice that the audience and the city is considered in the music making process. Thank you.
Hello allYes, the concert was exciting and enjoyable with some fantastic playing both from Simon and the orchestra. The Echo review was very good and I hope there'll be some more reviews. On Classical Source Glyn Mon Hughes said: '[Vasily's] partnership with Simon Trpčeski was stunning'. He praised Simon's playing and said also 'Petrenko exploited the orchestra to its fullest degree [in the concerto]. He did much the same in a rip-roaring performance of Shostakovich’s dark and sombre Symphony No.10'. Spot on. Also: 'Petrenko said he wanted to make the Liverpool Philharmonic the “best in the world”. He’s doing that. And Liverpool audiences know it.'Many thanks, Vasily, for a wonderful start to what looks as if it's going to be a wonderful season. And many thanks again for staying with the RLPO, Liverpool and Britain.Best, Robin
Great review of last Thursday's concert by Tim Ashley in The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/sep/13/rlpo-petrenko-review4 stars, but read it and it sounds like 5! The number of stars for reviews often mystifies me...Incidentally, in Catherine Jones's Echo review she said that Simon Trpceski had recorded the Rachmaninov with the RLPO. Anyone know the label and when this is due out? I see the Shostakovich 5 and 9 disc is due from Naxos in the next few weeks, and am looking forward to that.Robin
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