Wednesday 8 February 2006

Salomon Orchestra concert

Last night we went to St. John's Smith Square to hear the Salomon Orchestra, conducted by Tom Seligman. The programme consisted of Bartok's Two Pictures, Mahler's Rückert Lieder and Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances. The orchestra were on their usual superb form and the conclusion to the Rachmaninov was shattering. The soloist in the Mahler was Damian Thantrey, who sang the title role in the premiere of my opera Garrett. He was brilliant in the Mahler songs and my two favourites, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommon and Um Mitternacht were stunning. The interesting point was how little I knew the other 3 songs in the cycle.

This element of familiarity and unfamiliarity applied to the Rachmaninov as well as I found that I knew the first 2 movements quite well, but seemed to have forgotten the third; so the concert gave me a good opportunity to get re-acquainted.

They had a near capacity audience who were very enthusiastic. In case you don't know, the orchestra's next gig is on March 23rd when they are doing a concert at St. James's Church, Piccadilly in which Adrian Brown conducts them in a programme which includes 2 of my pieces.

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