Valery Gergiev ‘gave little’ to the LSO

In a blog that the Guardian has not seen fit to print, veteran music critic Andrew Clements nails Gergiev’s eight years at the London Symphony Orchestra – a partnership that ends this week with not much more than a whimper.

Gergiev’s interests range far and wide, from Fifa ((pictured) to turkey farms. He never seemed fully engaged.

As Clements points out, few outstanding performances spring readily to mind:

The fact remains that the LSO has had Gergiev as its figurehead for eight years, and in that period it has very rarely experienced the inspirational best of him on the podium, or received the close attention, what you might call the pastoral care, that a really diligent chief conductor can bring to an orchestra’s culture of concert-giving. At times during that period, the sound of the orchestra, in its home at the Barbican especially, was coarse and unpleasant.

Read the full blog here.

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  • That’s strange, because with their minuscule rehearsal times, London orchestras look like a perfect match for jet set conductor Gergiev.
    Which “really diligent” chief conductor did Mr. Clements us for his reference? Those in Britain that come to my mind were active about 50 years ago…

    • Are you perhaps confusing London and Britain? Or just unaware of what’s happened since 1980 in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester?

  • I happened to meet, at the start of the year, a current member of the orchestra.

    I asked them what they thought of him. Some of the comments are unprintable (vulgar) but on thew whole they detest him.

    The discipline in the orchestra has gone. Gergiev pleases himself when and how long the rehearsals are, often being late of finishing early so that he can phone (love of his life Putin, perhaps) someone.

    The person stated that they would love Rattle to take over (wish came true) but ANYONE would be better that VG. They can’t wait to see the back of him

    • …beginning with Yuri Temirkanov, his successor. He has his limitations as a conductor, but is a real musical poet.

  • What dribble. All of you. Not a single fact here. You will miss him when he is gone. Norman, you play favorites with the less than notable Chailly who is on label that finds your site.

  • I attended the rehearsals of “The Rite of Spring”, yesterday 11/10/15. Maestro Gergiev’s rehearsal was meticulous. He revealed beautiful subtle nuances in the piece which are normally never heard. He asked the orchestra to give of their best and they played superbly. I doubt I will hear such a fine interpretation again. With refererence to “short” reharsals, if a conductor ends a rehearsal early it normally shows he and the orchestra knows how to do thier job well.

  • The Guardian didn’t see fit to print? Blogs are by definition online-only formats. And Clements’s post will be seen far more widely online than it would have been in hard copy.

    As for Gergiev and the LSO, it seems to me watching from the (very distant) sidelines, that the LSO got more or less what it could realistically have expected out of Gergiev. It’s not as if people were unaware of the way the man works before the LSO hired him.

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