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London Symphony Orchestra at the barbican 23 march

From: music review
Category: Music
Date: 23 March 2005


The players all have different styles of shoes, shiny oxfords or matt square toes for example, the stage is scruffy wood like you see in a school gymnasium, the musicians tail coats are heterogeneous as well, flat or ball buttons, and the women can wear long skirts, trousers, jackets or dowdy cleavage showing tops. One man has a pony-tail, predominantly the orchestra is white, enlivened by a few orientals.The conductor is a well turned older man who waves a baton and has a ring on his left hand. The audience appeared to have been unfrozen from a rather nasty English dinner party circa 1974, even the children look middle-aged. The music is good, an odd manic collaboration of highly dextrous athtletes plucking, banging, and stroking wood and metal, flipping pages, and looking not like skilled intellectual interpreters of high art but more like focussed workers. It is all so odd, the silence and noise, the repetition, the variation of sound, ordered by genius which seems alien, for why is it this way or that? It means nothing and everything to the players, it is old sounds repeated till our culture is finally destroyed. It is too complex for easy minds and only resonates with those whom it signifies some luddite reaction to now.

Music included stravinsky's firebird,Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 Respighi The Fountains of Rome... firebird appealed most to me in its melodramatic way.

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