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Jan Lisiecki with LPO at Southbank is remarkable / Financial Times review

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"Rachmaninov in Love" was how this concert was dubbed, no doubt to try and tempt potential audience members out of the dreich December evening and into the cocooning embrace of Romanticism on the Southbank. But the Russian composer proved to be a reticent suitor, making his appearance last in the programme.

Under the baton of principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski, the London Philharmonic Orchestra began with Glinka's Waltz Fantasy, an understated performance that seemed dutiful rather than enthusiastic. Then came Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1, with the Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki as soloist. Though already a veteran of the concert stage, he is only 21 and looks even younger, his formal red bow tie at odds with his beanpole physique as he folded himself down on to the piano stool.

Chopin's concertos are all about the soloist and Lisiecki knows it. What is immediately striking is how big his sound is, confidently riding over the orchestra. Jurowski stuck to him like glue, which was no mean feat, as Lisiecki is a highly reactive pianist. And while technically he is remarkable, his whimsical rubato, particularly troubling in the Krakowiak rhythms of the finale, ended up sounding self-indulgent.

READ THE FULL Financial Times REVIEW