Between Liverpool and London – once again… It’s been quite a lot of travels in a last few weeks all around the world, and all around the UK – yesterday, for instance, I’ve been conducting in Carlisle, and today going down to London for two rehearsals there. And tomorrow my beloved Brahms 4 back in Liverpool…and again to London for concert in Barbican on Tuesday!
Nevertheless, I prefer to be busy, rather then not doing anything. Since concert in Amsterdam (when I’d written last blog) I’ve been a week in Budapest – this was very interesting and quite unusual for me, I couldn’t understood any words of Hungarian language! It’s amazing, that country in a middle of Europe kept their language almost clear from invasions of neighbours! I found Budapest once again beautiful city on Danube, and since I’ve been there about 10 years ago, a lot has been changed. It’s very interesting mixture of post-communist and European-union things in society there and if you know how to explore, you may find wonderful things and contrasts there. But what really surprised me, is that St.Petersburg (please, don’t think that all Russia!) are much further on democratic-capitalists reforms, for good and for bad! Festival Orchestra, with whom I’ve played in Budapest, is fantastic – probably the best orchestra in Hungary – and have a very different structure, musicians have 2-years-contracts and re-audition after it, they paid by hours/days, and administration of orchestra have right to replace them for a few weeks per year with freelancers. There are also few more differences. This Orchestra is 25 years old, and it’s been first time for them to play 5th Prokofiev Symphony, and they’ve done very well – even in a relatively small (but beautiful!) F.Liszt Hall. Janine Jensen as always, played with virtuosity and it’s been a pleasure again to perform with her!
Right after I’ve been back to Liverpool for one day to rehears with RLPO before touring in Holland and Germany. Tour was extremely successful, audience get rough at the end of performances and musicians tested a lot of different beers ))). Liverpudlians also had a chance to listen to the same programme, and I’ve got a lot of great responses from concerts of Tchaikovsky. I’m glad that we kept freshness, playing his Symphony for about 9 times in a last few months, and last concerts been probably the best!
This week was also very tough for orchestra – two big symphonies, Bruckner 4 and Brahms 4 in two days in a row! And both hasn’t been performed for quite a few years! So, I think they would need a bit of rest afterwards, but it’s operas (completely new music for them) in a next week… I’m glad that Bruckner got a full hall and very warm reception – think this concert had a very special spirit in it, and beauty and lightness of Beethoven with Paul Lewis in first half did a great contrast for catholic-romantic research of Bruckner. We will play Brahms 4 again tomorrow, and I wouldn’t like to say anything before it, rather then very much looking forward to this Sunday afternoon!
One more thing, which I can’t miss in my blog: at the end of October delegation of RLPO had visited House of Common with a special event, dedicated to our educational programme. It’s been very well attended by the Lords and MP, and I’m very glad, that we’ve given a lot of information about what’s going on in Liverpool and particularly in work with children and youngsters. Everyone been very impressed in Westminster, and I think personally, that this is one of the most important parts of our work and progress – invite and encourage as many of young people as possible and give them a chance to be part of classical culture!