Tuesday, October 09, 2007

LPO cup runneth over

I'd hoped to give a full report on the glittering party that followed the LPO's anniversary concert the other night: the fantastic big-band playing of its Renga Ensemble with Scott Stroman, the speech by arts minister Margaret Hodge, the dusky and charismatic figure of Vladimir Jurowski encircled by adoring fans, the champagne [sorry, Pliable! I've no intention of being at loggerheads with anyone; it takes all sorts, etc, and there's enough room on earth for Adorno, Cage, Rachmaninov and Moet & Chandon]...But we only caught about 10 minutes of it because we were backstage trying to force Tom's locker open. The key was bust and his wallet and sandwiches were on the wrong side of the door.

We also survived our first ride in a brand new RFH lift which took us to the top floor around 7pm and then didn't want to let us out. Again, all was well when it changed its electronic mind, but there was a worrying minute in which we thought there'd be an empty seat in the first violins.

Vladimir's account of the Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances, however, was an event that would surely have made Sir Thomas Beecham proud of the orchestra he founded 75 years ago. Vladimir is a spiritual type, interested in zen, meditation etc, and perhaps this comes across in his conducting in the moments of stillness, the intense focus, the darkness gathering invisible momentum in the background, ready to erupt. The final 'dance' seemed an apocalyptic evocation of a collapsing world.

I'm not going to write about the Mozart and Beethoven because I can never get past the mental image of a Cornflakes packet being thumped when I hear those 'authentic' 'period' drums. But here's a full review from The Telegraph's Matthew Rye.