When was the last concert you went in 2017

Last night I went to see Stravinsky's Firebird at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

It was a bit of a mystery trip, as after a friend suggested going, I purposely didn't look up the event to see which orchestra it was, what other pieces would be played etc.  More of a surprise.

And it was a good surprise.  Turned out to be the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, and the programme included a quite excellent piece by a Chinese composer featuring an instrument I'd never (knowingly) heard before, the Sheng.  And the cheap seats on the front row meant we got a good look at the thing.  The Stravinsky was great too, lovely drama.

Britten - Four Sea Interludes Op 33a

Zhao Lin - Duo for cello, sheng and orchestra

Ye Xiaogang - Guangdong Music Suite, Op. 51 (GSO commission, 2005)

Stravinsky - Firebird Suite (1919 revision)

Here's a video of the youth version of same orchestra performing the same Zhao piece.  The same sheng player too, I believe.


Glad you enjoyed it. He is good, isn't he?

Apparently the piece was written for Yo-Yo Ma, and I did look to see if there were any recordings of him playing it. But as it's quite recent (and probably still relatively obscure), this was the only recording I could find. Happily, it's a good one nonetheless.

Imelda May at York Barbican on Tuesday. Bit of a leap in the dark as hardly know anything by her.

However, she is quite a performer and both Mrs PP and I enjoyed the show tremendously. Recommended!


PS If you do go, be wary of the support act Jack L. Tedious in the extreme to my ears.

Amadeus Live.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra & The Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - 20/05/2017.

Going with a friend tomorrow to see the move Amadaeus with all the music performed live from the movie by the RSNO & RSNOC.


My band's, on Wednesday - does that count? 

Played live on Wednesday evening, at AntyRadio. It's the largest rock- orientated radio station in Poland. A 2 hour show - a mixture of playing live, inteviews with the host and introducing a playlist chosen by my band for the show. A rather interesting way to spend an evening I must say....

Friday May 19th, The Palladium.

Steve Hackett a super concert as usual from Steve.

First set from his solo works featuring his latest album The Night Siren.

Second set and encore from the Genesis archive, featuring Wind and Wuthering. Sound excellent, playing superb. All round a great time, last UK show of this tour.

Pink Floyd at the V and A earlier so a really fine musical day.


Jakub Hruša/CSO:
Smetana's Má vlast

In 125 year CSO history, Smetana's entire Ma Vlast have been only played 5 times since Frederick Stock premiered the piece in 1931. The last time it was played was Kubelik/CSO back in 1983.

I am not much a fan of *anthem* patriotic type of scores, but I was curious to hear a young Hrusa conducts the entire cycle. ( I was impressed with his orchestration on Bruch's Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti ) In 2010, he became the youngest to open the Prague Spring Festival at 28.

I didn't think the first two mvt. (Vyšehrad & The Maldau ) were not completely together and the two flute intro sounded too loose for instance and that the wedding scene should have been bolder more folksy. It was perhaps too sophisticated for these earthy tunes.  But in my mind, Fricsay set and Toscanini's Maldau are so ingrained, I am slightly prejudiced here to judge.

But as the music progressed the band was getting much tighter and cohesive. Particularly the last two Tabor & Blanik was extraordinary. Hrusa's energetic podium style rubbed off both the musicians and the audience. Also he was conducting without a score for the entire duration! ( no intermission ) Impressive! for a conductor making a major debut.

Hruša examining the original score with Frederick Stock's markings at the CSO Archive.


Audience certainly loved it. It must have been the longest applaud. I hope CSO will invite him back in the future. I would like to hear more from this young conductor.

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