Familiar favourites at Cadogan Hall

Yesterday evening at Cadogan Hall the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak, performed Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Bruch's 1st Violin Concerto (the soloist was Tasmin Little) and Mendelssohn's 3rd Symphony, the 'Scottish'. All very well known and popular pieces one has heard many times and has recordings of... so why bother to turn out on a damp evening?

Though I have a very good hi-fi system, capable of playing surround SACDs, there is still a huge gap between listening to a recording and being at a live concert: not only the quality of the sound, but just the live experience. Even with very well-known pieces, it's worth hearing a different interpretation: and yesterday the performances were excellent and well worth hearing in the hall's attractive acoustic.

The Bruch is lyrical and charming, though it does make considerable technical demands which were evidently no problem to Tasmin Little, always a reliable and engaging performer. The Mendelssohn is lively and spontaneous-sounding (despite the fact that it took twelve years of revisions before Mendelssohn was satisfied with it - the art that conceals art). It may be easy on the ear, but it demands lightness and precision from the orchestra.

As usual, the audience were mostly over 55, with a sprinkling of younger faces - one does wonder what will happen to live classical concerts in twenty or thirty years time - but it was encouraging to note the presence of a party from a boys' secondary school: hopefully some of them will be encouraged to join the next generation of audiences.

Posted: Thu - September 20, 2007 at 09:03 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM