Friday, 16 October 2009

Mythical figures in concert

Last night at the Festival Hall was a nice concert of uncomplicated happy music; a complete contrast to “Wozzeck” last week. Just as there is a place for cartoon comedy in the world, so too there is a place for the full-on, heartily relished, colourful romanticism of Dvorak and Glazunov…

The Glazunov Violin Concerto, which I hadn’t heard before, was rather lovely, with a fast, tangy finale. It was played with delight and passion by Nicola Benedetti, in a wonderful dress that made her look like a mermaid. And conducted by Leif Segerstam, who I only knew from the radio until now. He looks like Father Christmas. So like, it’s uncanny. He stands at the rostrum to acknowledge applause, opens his broad arms and beams at us; Father Christmas, his very self. You just want to run and cuddle him. Damned good conductor, too.

So Father Christmas conducted, and a mermaid played the violin, and the Philharmonia did themselves proud with a lushly romantic programme, and I had a very pleasant evening, complete with a glass of tender, cold, liquid smoke on the balcony at the interval. I mustn’t make a habit of that, but I wanted to treat myself, and a measure of Laphroaig isn’t that much more expensive than an ice-cream.

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