"Amidst four-in-the-morning trips to Tsukijishijo to see the tuna auctions, visits to the Japanese countryside, Indian curry in Shinjuku, sushi lunches and binge-shopping on the Ginza, the Philharmonic has churned out two more world-class performances in Tokyo’s magnificent Suntory Hall, the second stop on our tour of the Far East. Sadly, this is our great Music Director’s last tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Suntory is the ‘sister-hall’ to Walt Disney, designed by the same phenomenal acoustician (Yasuhisa Toyota) responsible for our paragon of halls back home, with similar layout and characteristics. However, I noticed that the inside of the hall was this very interesting type of stone, in place of the wood paneling back home; as a result, Suntory is more live than Disney, and in rehearsal, treble-heavy. Our people sitting in the hall for the concert said the sound was balanced and rich, very lush.
La Mer and Firebird in Tokyo were amongst the most amazing musical experiences of my life, the Bolero solos just keep getting better and better, and we’re only halfway through our tour! Ma Mere L’Oye was greeted with thunderous applause before intermission, and after the program, Esa-Pekka actually had to go out for a bow after the orchestra had left the stage, because the audience was still roaring. We’re now sweltering in Singapore, looking forward to more fantastic concerts and adventures in the last few days to come."