Thursday, 4 September 2008

British tradition (2): the Proms

Wonderful evening (as the BBC's guest) in the Albert Hall at the Proms. Simon Rattle, the Berliner Philharmoniker (surely the best orchestra currently in the world?), Shostakovich's 10th symphony (which came after Stalin's death - and after a 10 year pause) was in turn sad, visceral, optimistic and astonishing (4 movements). He really didn't like life under Stalin did he?! The proms were packed, and you can see here the standing only promenaders packing the central floor. Sharp eyed will also see Henry Wood's iconic bust behind the band.

I started the day with an iChat link-up to policymakers / friends in Tasmania, which was delightful, but sometimes (eg tonight) it really is about being there. I love the theatre of a live orchestra - the doting violins and the trombones watching the clock and dreaming of beer - but with five busy percussionists playing we certainly had the heavy artillery out tonight!

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