Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

The Bolívars tackle Strauss with Gust[av]o

As Alpine Symphonies go, this was a Matterhorn-scale reading. Probably best viewed from a Romantic distance, but nonetheless breathtaking in scale.

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, teamed with their charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, almost certainly need no introduction. If they do, get yourself googling and within minutes you’ll be well-versed in the kind of hyperbole that surrounds them on their travels. As I contemplated a concert at the Festival Hall on a stuffy Tuesday night, it had a hint of the off-putting about it. Approaching a little warily, perhaps even slightly icily, they certainly thawed me. (more…)