Monday, 8 March 2010

Shostakovich 10th Symphony

To the Royal Festival Hall - lovely place - to hear the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mariss Jansons, playing the above. Stupendous. Just a tinge of regret at not being musically literate enough to understand the narrative - why does one thing lead to another? I thought of the piece as a novel in four parts. The strings were the narrative voice, the solo wind instruments the characters or voices within the story. Extremely Russian (ie extremely extreme), and exciting, even thrilling. i felt myself tensing and relaxing. This you do not get at a pop concert, where the physical pitch is high from the off and pretty much stays there. This music plays around your nervous system. And surely conducting is the Best Job in the World. Why did my father no whip me into practicing the piano? He told me it would come to this.

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