New York Arts > Music
London Symphony Orchestra, The Barbican, Sir Colin Davis conductor, Nikolaj Znaider violin: Jan Sibelius, Les Océanides, Violin Concerto, Symphony No 4
Ugliness, thy name is Barbican. No other great orchestra has been miserably consigned to a concrete mausoleum of art except the London Symphony. I went to hear them last night in an all-Sibelius program under Sir Colin Davis. One approaches the Barbican by trudging through an underpass with four lanes of traffic two feet from your elbow and banks of jaundice-colored sodium vapour lamps overhead. The building itself looks like something airlifted intact from East Berlin. The architectural style is a spawn of Brutalism, a masochistic favourite with the British in the post-war era, but without being quite as punitive.