Thursday, 26 May 2011

Culture with a capital "K"

This continues to be a hectic week (or two), as last night I was out again -this time for something really classy. I managed to secure tickets for Alistair, Jim and I to the 90th birthday celebrations of the London Chamber Orchestra at the magnificently baroque St John's, Smith Square - how fab!

St John's Smith Square

The LCO is Britain's longest established professional chamber orchestra, and with its flamboyantly camp conductor Christopher Warren-Green recently played the music at the Royal Wedding. They have a reputation for fun and energy, so we were all looking forward to this concert. And we were not disappointed!

Christopher Warren-Green

After a little "happy birthday" speech from Julian Lloyd-Webber(!), they opened with the lovely Lady Radnor's Suite by Hubert Parry (a piece with which I am unfamilar), which was a beautifully English-summery way to start a concert.

[NB They have no performance videos online, so all these videos are of other orchestras unfortunately.]

After a bit of humping and shifting - to accommodate (tiny) soloist Christia Hudziy and her enormous grand piano - the now larger ensemble embarked upon their double-bill of Mozart compositions, starting with the Piano Concerto 23. And their performance was absolutely fantastic!

After the break, it was the turn of the highlight of the evening! Woody Allen once said that Mozart’s Symphony 41 "proved the existence of God". More popularly known as Jupiter, it certainly is the most magnificent of all his symphonic works, not least for it's finale. Playing it again as an encore, Mr Warren-Green said "It's almost like he was showing off!"

This was a sumptuous feast for the senses, and a brilliant evening. I must look out for more such events...

London Chamber Orchestra website

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