In my haste to get the photos of the opera house published, I didn’t take proper time to tell you about the concert with Yo-Yo Ma and the London Philharmonic – sorry about that. After all, that was the reason I was so excited about going.
Yo-Yo Ma played Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor. Immediately the orchestra began to play, we were drawn into the rich, warm sound. Yo-Yo is a gifted performer, and knew exactly how to catch our attention and hold it. The hall did full justice to him, allowing us to hear the grand technical passages, but the whispers of the soft notes and the lyric emotion of the wonderful melodies.
It was a magnificent performance, and one which reminded me that I don’t have nearly enough cello music in my CD collection, or on my iPod.
The second half was an augmented orchestra playing Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E major. I don’t think I have ever hear this work before, but this performance will make sure that I always remember it now. The music reminded me somewhat of the sea, with lovely, lyric passages broken suddenly by loud crescendos of melody being tossed from one section to another. As we were in the second balcony, I could watch the players. I felt sorry for the fourth trombone player – he only got to play in the really loud parts……. and I’m sure the percussionist on the cymbals was allowed one crash only. There was one section that featured the cellos and double basses, of which there were 10.
Bruckner really made use of the whole, huge orchestra in this symphony, and the London Philharmonic did him proud. The sound was pure velvet.
We left the hall in a hush of “wow, that was incredible!”.