Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sibelius Times Three

I went my usual classical music going chums to the Barbican last night to see three pieces by Sibelius played by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis. The only piece on the bill with which I was in any way familiar was the 4th Symphony, which I adore for its almost unrelenting moodiness. Even Shostakovitch generally ended on a high note.

The concert opened up with The Oceanides which was apparently composed on an Atlantic sea crossing; at least in part. It was superb with the orchestra flowing and moving as a unit, unlike many of the recent concerts I've attended where I got the distinct impression that the musicians scarcely knew the score. Sir Colin, who's getting on a bit these days, was pretty sprightly once he got into the swing of things though with his woofy hair and small physique he rather reminded me of Widow Twanky as he tottered to and from the conductor's rostrum.

The second piece was Sibelius' Violin Concerto featuring Nikolaj Znaider as the soloist. As well as being worth a great many points in Scrabble, Znaider was an astonishing musician. The wonderful acoustics of the hall helped but he made every note count and played with passion and total commitment throughout. A really special performance all in all.

The 4th Symphony came after the interval and once again the orchestra really delivered. Whilst the performance wasn't up to the Simon Bolivar Orchestra at last year's Proms (I doubt I'll ever see as electric a concert as that again though) it was right up there with the best of the rest. I came out of the auditorium at about 9.30 really feeling like I'd witnessed something good for the spirit and with that I sauntered through Clerkenwell, back to Holborn and home.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Churlita said...

I need to go see some decent classical music. We have an excellent music program here and it's usually free. It's more finding the time and paying more attention, I suppose.

10:23 pm  
Blogger booda baby said...

I don't know, Churlita. When time is short, Mr. A. represents a pretty good Readers' Digest version. But then, lately I've been turning vicarious-ness into kind of an art form.

1. Was the orchestral flowing and moving meant to capture the Atlantic bob? Or did you mean something more like orchestral in synch-ness?

2. Are you allowed to use proper names in British Scrabble? That sounds like one of A's attempts to twist the rules that I don't know and so, always fall for.

8:29 pm  
Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

Churlita, There's quite a bit of classical music in London but you have book in advance, generally about three months in advance else they sell out. Makes you concentrate!

Booda Baby, I was trying to evoke the synchronicity of the orchestra but I'm not going to pretend the aquatic nature of the piece wasn't in my mind.

No you aren't allowed proper nouns in Scrabble here either - but the joke doesn't work if I got all pedantic. Call it artistic license. See I have it here, laminated, next to driving license in my wallet.

11:18 am  
Blogger booda baby said...

Mr. A: Shame on me. I'm usually (if our house is any example) your perfect straight man but I went and ruined your perfectly good joke.

My bad. Sincerely apologies. I knew you wouldn't cheat at Scrabble.

6:11 pm  

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