Monday, 9 November 2009

When you come to work for a rest...

It's been a busy weekend. I wouldn't change a scrap of it, but it has all been a bit rushed. I managed to do at least some of the week-in, week-out sensible jobs, like grocery shopping and clothes-washing. I made a disgracefully good risotto, and an even more disgraceful chocolate & chestnut mousse. I had lunch with my mother and went to an exhibition at the Royal Academy - an odd yoking of cool, formal, very-knotted-up Eric Gills, powerful early Epsteins, and a roomfull of stunning pieces by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Then on Sunday I passed several blissful hours standing drawing musicians at "re:Rite" - I'll probably never again get the chance to draw members of an orchestra that close up, and I intend to make the most of it, so I'll probably go back at least once. Then I went to a live concert to follow up the weird filmed and played-in-a-warehouse one ("re:Rite" is really rather peculiar altogether; more of that in a moment), and finally crept home, via my local indian takeaway, because I was too knackered to think, let alone cook. And I like their Saag Paneer.

The live concert was lovely, luckily. I was concerned that I would have wired my brain to modernism at "re:Rite", which is, as the name suggests, a performance of "The Rite of Spring". This is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music, and that is a good thing, since if I am going to spend a lot of time at it, drawing, I'll be hearing the piece several times over. I got about two and a half rounds of it yesterday, and didn't stop thinking it brilliant.

But I did worry, as I dashed, wolfing a small sandwich, back down the South Bank to the Festival Hall, that Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and Sibelius were going to sound a tad, well, conventional, in comparison with the Total Immersion Stravinsky Experience I had just had. The Tchaikovsky "Voyevoda" overture, to be frank, did (& I may now have added insult to injury by spelling it wrong); loud and jolly. Then Nikolai Lugansky came on and played Rachmaninov (piano concerto no.3) and blew me away; it was as though my brain had hopped across a bridge and come into a perfect place for this. Utter lush romantic passion, manly romantic passion that is, not sugary gambolly stuff in the manner of Hollywood. Mr Lugansky was wonderful - and he is delightfully ornamental (his picture in the brochure is very unflattering - he turns out to be about 6 foot four and fair, with a long nose and ravishing hands >sigh<). If he had been feeding me champagne and christmas cake on the side (between cadenzas!) I could hardly have been happier. And the Sibelius (no.2) went down a treat. The last time I heard this, it was played (with brio but a distinct feeling of "oh christ we are out of our depth now") by the amateur orchestra my stepmum and baby bro play in, so it sounded rather more clear and polished here in the hands of the Philharmonia. On whom, I have to admit, I am developing something of a collective crush...

It was a good curry, too.

All in all a great weekend; but I am tired, and a steady day answering silly emails seems restful in comparison. Tonight I am off to a performance of bluegrass banjo music. Ickle Miss Eclecticism, that's me.

No comments: