It’s been a heavy couple of weeks on the back shelf at the world famous symphony orchestra that I am privileged to play with. We opened the season last Thursday with a fabulous performance of ‘Daphnis and Cloe’ by Ravel, full forces and the angelic voices of the chorus to spurn us on to fantastic heights (Go here for an interview about the piece with our principal flute). Viktoria Mullova outplayed us all in Shostakovich’s 1st Violin Concerto. The concert was well received with a lot of students and new faces in the very appreciative audience. Thank you, Siemens, for supporting us!
We took the Shostakovich (and Ms Mullova) to Leeds on Saturday, padded it out with Wagner’s ‘Flying Dutchman’ Overture and substituted Daphnis with Sibelius 5th Symphony, a staple in our repertoire. We will be taking “Den Fliegenden Holländer” to Germany on tour next March. The Maestro seems very excited about this; we think he likes taking German music to Germany on tour. He also likes taking English music to Germany on tour, but for some reason, until quite recently, the German audiences didn’t seem to be too keen on it. In March we will be taking the Enigma Variations, Elgar’s absolute blockbuster. The Germans love this one. Even my father.
We did work on Monday this week, which is rare. Monday is our Sunday, normally. Which is great for shopping. Not so good for going out for a meal. The reason for the rehearsal day was that we needed yet another symphony for the Manchester concerts this week and yet another concerto for Nottingham on Tuesday.
What a reception we had in Nottingham! The hall was sold out (or at least it looked it, from the back shelf) and the audience loved it. Paul Lewis performed a wonderful Brahms 1st Piano Concerto (and will continue to do so tonight and Sunday), the Dutchman appeared again and we gave another smashing performance of Sibelius 5, judging by the reaction of the audience. What a treat to play to such a full hall!
Yesterday afternoon we opened this season’s the Opus One Series with the Brahms and Dvorak’s 8th Symphony. Fantastic to see that the matinee audiences are growing!