Real Life Begins to Return
Last night I went to a concert at The Barbican in London. It was a moving experience.
After what seems like forever being 'in lockdown' at last we were allowed to go to concerts.
The Barbican is far from my favourite concert hall but last night it sounded fab.
The concert started with Sir Simon Rattle making a short emotional speech. He said that they (the musicians) had missed us terribly, playing to an empty hall was a barren experience, that they existed to play in front of people....."to breathe the same air, share the same thoughts and emotions"...the audience was ecstatic to be there and responded with enthusiastic applause. It was very moving.
The programme: Britten: A Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra, Faure: Pelleas and Melisande, Dvorak: Slavonic Dances. Sir Simon quipped that they decided to start with The Young Persons Guide because..."we might have forgotten which instrument is which".......very droll!
Then they started,,,,I was surprised that I teared up at the sound of the full orchestra, it's been soooooo long. We easily forget how lucky we are, what charmed lives we lead.
The playing was wonderful, perfect ensemble playing, the woodwinds had incredible intonation, the sort where because they are exactly in tune with one another an extra set of harmonics comes out.
Sir Simon's conducting was subtle and fluid, phrases unobtrusively shaped, tempi and rubato 'just so'.
All-in-all a memorable evening.
Normally the Barbican acoustics are not good, but last night they were outstanding. I suspect that having only half the normal audience (social distancing malarky, dontcha know) and building out the main stage by about 10 feet (thus putting the orchestra almost amongst us) projected the sound as never before. A real result.
What an evening, it's great to be starting to live again.
Thanks for reading.