Thursday, 13 December 2007

Vive les amateurs!

The audience was the same size as the orchestra, the piano was a very creaky centenarian Steinway, but St Luke's, Victoria Road was the occasion of a very special concert this evening (and the venue for a packed tea made by Mrs W, who was off at her school Xmas dinner) given by the Cambridge Sinfonietta under Peter Britton.

Berlioz, Overture to "Benvenuto Cellini"
I noticed that the cymbal-player looked like my Dad did in the 70s. His shoulder-length Jesus hair got wafted each time he crashed the cymbals, leading to a gradual build up of styled stray hair that resembled the result of a short van der Graf generator demonstration.

Saint-Saens, Piano Concerto No. 2
Very spirited performance from a cool soloist who normally plays violin with this band. He looked a bit like a banker. This brought back memories of when I managed the first movement of this concerto with the King Edward's School (Bath, the VI, of course) orchestra back in the mid-90s...

Walton, Viola Concerto
And as Patrick said of the violist, "Penelope Veryard? You don't want to mess with her." (say it out loud...) At the end of the first movement, a car went past in A minor, just as the final double-stopped tonic chord faded away... Polished and juicy - and until tonight I have never really enjoyed that work, worthy though I knew it to be.