Sunday, August 09, 2015

Prom 09, 2015 - Beethoven Piano Concertos

RAH Thursday 23-July-2015

This was an unplanned visit to the proms as Mary had booked tickets for a later Prom not realising we were in Italy. The RAH will not do refunds but they will do exchanges. So we swapped for this on the grounds that you can't beat The Big "B" and we get of bit of Stravinsky thrown in as well. Full details on the BBC website. We went with our friends Bron and Maggie and had a meal beforehand in the Elgar Room.

Despite the fact that for a period in my life I had been to more Proms than rock concerts I never had a classical music upbringing so my review consists of "Actually I enjoyed the Stravinsky more than the Beethoven"

The Telegraph was more eloquent: "Utterly absorbing."

"For the past four years, the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has been exploring all five of the piano concertos and the Choral Fantasy in a "Beethoven Journey" that is now culminating in a trio of headline concerts at the BBC Proms. His partner on his global travels with these programmes has been the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which again joined him in this pairing of the First and Fourth Concertos separated by Stravinsky’s palate-cleansing “Apollon musag├Ęte”. Together they gave utterly absorbing performances that were a testament to the strength and subtlety of Andsnes’s interpretative stance in this music and an unequivocal vindication of his decision to direct all the concertos from the keyboard." Full review...

I noticed was how many of my fellow audience members are able to sit stock still for the duration of each piece as if frozen by the Gorgon's stare. I am a real fidget pants, itch here, scratch there, shuffle in my seat, legs doing St Vitus dance. How I envy them their physical immobility.

Another friend Bill has been making use of his retirement to become a hard core Promenader attending almost every single prom. So much so that he is now one of the official music charity bucket rattlers standing at the exit doors collecting donations. We were able to spot him at the interval for a chat and meet at the door afterward for more catch-up.

A fine cultural evening.

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