A group of us went to hear the Sydney Symphony have a go at some Liszt, Schumann and Mussorgsky. We had a great evening – meeting up beforehand in the Opera Bar and then trekking way up into the gods for the concert.
The Liszt was worthy but dull; described as a tone poem – not my thing and possibly not the Sydney Symphony’s either.
Ingrid Fliter then hit the piano with some Schumann. Her coiffure gave a bravura performance (lots of dramatic hair tossing), supplemented with a great deal of swaying about and ‘being at one with the music’ sort of thing. She was terrific. Wouldn’t it be dull if she just rocked up, plonked herself down, picked out the tune then got on a bus and went home? Great entertainment.
Back to earth with a bump – the interval was spent trying to find the loo instead of luxuriating in the company of the Sydney glitterati.
At the start of the second half of the concert, there was a real buzz in the audience as we waited for the main event – Pictures at an Exhibition. The orchestra perked up a bit too, getting right into it – the strings scraping, the brass honking (with a fair bit of burbling and near misses); the saxophone wailing silkily. It gave me goosebumps. Nobody worked harder than the conductor – he earned his case of VB on Wednesday night.
The only thing missing for me was Neil. He didn’t want to come because he thought I was going to some sort of concert that also had an exhibition of pictures of helicopters (he was thinking Sikorsky, not Mussorgsky). This is the truth.
He’s the brightest, cleverest person I know. But I do wonder what’s going on in there sometimes.