I am going to a concert!
Would you like to come along with me?
I squeeze the last cup of morning coffee from the pot and gather together my knitting, my glasses, a library book in case I should want to read a few pages in the intermission, and I am off to my PC where the Berlin Philharmonik orchestra has begun to gather and the seats are filling up.....
The first violinist arrives to applause, and the instruments tune up under his direction.
Ah, - here is the guest soloist, Chistian Tetzlaff. And the conductor, Sir Simon with his white dandelion hair and baton.
First on the program is Brahms Violin Concerto in D, which has been a great favourite of mine for many years since I first deepened my acquaintance with it to a familiarity, via a CD with Nigel Kennedy and the London Philharmonic.
The orchestra begins, - and now the soloist joins in with great enthusiam, and then great delicacy; fierce in his passion and then tender in the quiet interlude that overtakes the music. The first movement ends with a sweet solo sentence, sometimes almost a whisper until the orchestra joins in with great vigor, and we are into the Adagio.
The violins are quiet as the clarinets and flutes and oboe carry one gently along into this lovely movement. And here are the violins again - light and meditative.
I have still not picked up my knitting; this is too beautiful to be distracted with keeping track of a lacy pattern.
After the Adagio the Allegro - joyful, lively, melodic and rythmic. The camera catches a lady in the audience who is listening intently, but not smiling. How can one listen and not smile and tap one's foot, I wonder.
The conductor is smiling - all is going well! There is great applause as the performance comes to an end, and after a number of recalls an encore to an audience and spellbound orchestra (well, they looked spellbound - certainly very appreciative of this fine talent), So moving and beautiful....
In the intermission the artist speaks of his year of residency with the Philharmonic, and interjects wonderful musical examples that don't allow me to tear myself away to think about lunch. I eventually content myself with a boiled egg and a bit of yogurt!
The intermission over the musicians return and the first violinist does his bit again to make sure all is in harmongy.
The second part of the program is a delight. The orchestra is expanded with added instruments, - two harps, a tambourine and I think I even caught sight of a Ukulele! A lovely program of Claude DeBussy's Images for Orchestra - a Gigue, a Ronde of Springtime, Iberia, and Les Parfums of the Night.
It ended with George Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody, introduced by the trombones. A little wild and wonderful, inviting visions of twirling gypsies in long skirts and flowing hair. Everybody busy and caught up in this passionate music - nobody sitting idly awaiting a cue to play.....
Before the audience dispersed and the orchestra left the stage Sir Simon Rattle made a short farewell speech in German, and I could only guess at what he was saying, but concluded that the Flautist, who I have admired since I first became aware of the Digital Concert Hall, was retiring.
There was more great applause, beautiful flowers and he replied most graciously, I presume,
and with humour. I shall miss him...
A lovely way to spend a Saturday morning
and here are just a few moments of this wonderful music
for your pleasure.