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Author: Subject: What did you do last night?
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[*] Post 322437 posted on 24-2-2008 at 09:44 Reply With Quote
What did you do last night?



MrsSRD and I went to the Anvil, Basingstoke to see Nicola Beneditti with the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra conducted by Kristjan Jarvi.

A bit of a mix of a concert, the first piece was John Adams' Slonimsky's Earbox, I quite like a lot of Adams' work but I'm afraid this piece left me completely cold, requiring a vast orchestra, it seemed to me a jumble of sounds with no direction, structure or reason, nor did it conjure up any pictures for me. Reading the blurb in the programme afterwards didn't help much either.

The gloriously beautiful Nicola Benedetti (although we had seen the frock before) then gave a lovely performance of Mendelsohn's Violin concerto in E minor. This young performer has a musical ability that promises a great career and she played beautifully, she still needs a little more age to really handle the piece, to take away some of the fragility and sentimentality that is often the hallmark of the young player, and she has to stop being so beautiful (I had to close my eyes several times to allow the music to climb through the distraction of her looks). Her site has examples of her music, including Vaughan Williams the Lark Ascending and some John Taverner, which are more suited to her current style but it was a very good recital and the orchestra supported her extremely well. There are more examples on youtube but, as always, the quality of the sound is a bit ropey.

After the Interval they presented Sibelius' Symphony No.2 in D Major. This is one of MrsSRD's favourite pieces, not much pressure on the orchestra there then, it was started when the composer was in Italy, and, I understand, was meant originally to be mediterranean in character but it was finished in Finland and Sibelius dedicated it to a major figure in the Finnish struggle for independence from Sweden. This might be why it was presented so 'Germanically', or 'Wagnerian' if you prefer, but for us it was altogether too martial in nature and lacked the delicacy and sweeping statements that the very best interpretation has (the London Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis). This was followed by a lollipop, a piece by Grieg which neither of us knew, but it was presented equally martially so that may be a fault of the conductor rather than the orchestra.

Kristjan Jarvi conducted well, keeping the orchestra tight and drawing some good playing from the various sections, interesting to watch but not over flamboyant and keeping discreetly in the background whilst the soloist played.

We will certainly go to see Nicola Benedetti again, and the conductor and the orchestra, but will make sure that the programme is more fitted to their respective styles.
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[*] Post 322458 posted on 24-2-2008 at 12:00 Reply With Quote


I'm envious, Simon, I've not been to a concert in years, unless I include those in which my son played.
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[*] Post 322466 posted on 24-2-2008 at 13:44 Reply With Quote


I presume MrsLS can't travel to such venues and that you are loath to leave her to have some downtime.

We can actually afford to go to concerts etc. more now than when we were working. Most venues over here have major discounts for the disabled, frequently the carer goes go free, special parking and seating and plenty of assistance if needed.

As MrsSRD and myself both enjoy concerts we don't have the problem of one of us wanting to go and the other not, but we do have friends in that situation and they will 'swap' carers for an evening.
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