Review Half Six Fix: Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, LSO, Barbican Centre, London by James Ellis 

Photo credit: Christophe Abramowitz

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

The goal of more accessible concerts at half past six is one of London Symphony Orchestra’s outputs. It’s a swell idea, with one 30 odd minute piece getting the spotlight and a talk before going into more detail makes for a grand hour.

Here, Barbara Hannigan as conductor and speaker, delighted with insights into Pulcinella by Igor Stravinsky. Heavily inspired by the music of 18th century work by Pergolesi, this would turn out compromised as most of the music featured is not by him. Hannigan went into detail about Stravinsky’s dip into neo-classical ideals, a return to form of less experimental nature. You can hear it’s still very much Stravinsky’s arrangement of this bubbly, happy music. It’s a world away from his earlier ballet work, this being a collab with Picasso and other artists.

Hannigan as conductor, created form the way she is known for. She seems to executed good vibes bringing this out to us. The players shone with the return to Italian standards, peppered by the Russian composer’s rampant vitality. A trio of singers: Fleur Barron, Charles Sy and Douglas Williams has few solos, though these characters from the Commedia dell’arte proved good actors and suitable vocied and ones to watch out for. It’s the little extra details Stravinsky adds that keep you thinking after it was over.

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