Monday, 14 June 2010

East Sussex

Yesterday was a first performance of Macbeth in Glyndebourne, after a long and difficult rehearsing period! And a very good one, despite that some people found staging a bit disturbing...
Lewes and Glyndebourne are beautiful places, as well as Seaford, Newhaven and Hastings, white rocks, seaside with long beaches, a touch of history with fortresses and castles, active cultural live and plenty of traditions in everything. Brighton is also nearby, but in a good day it’s a feeling that half of the World suddenly came there! Glyndebourne itself surrounded by hills and fields, plenty of animals, birds and fantastic gardens on which a very large crew of gardeners works every day. It’s quite unusual to finish a rehearsal or performance, open the door and hear immediately sheep’s choir and solos!
Between rehearsals a while ago I had a very busy week with Brit Awards (very glamorous!), BBC Young Musician (fantastic teens! My best regards and congrats again to Lara, Callum and Emma, no doubts we will perform together many times in a future!), and Mahler 3 back in Liverpool (in a hot night, but another great step in Mahler Cycle in my point of view!!!). Now looking forward for Shostakovich 3 and 6 recordings, by the way, 3rd Symphony is very exciting but very difficult to play; it’ll be wise for members of RLPO to spend quite a lot of time for preparations. And of course, Shostakovich 5, Manfred, Simon with 2nd Rachmaninov concerto, Prom and 11 more Macbeths! Plus we need to rehears Parsifal for Spanish Tour... so, Summer is really intensive and busy.
There will be a few exciting days in St.Petersburg – hope for a good fishing there, but might be lack of time due to parents and friends, eagerly waiting for this week. Meanwhile, here in seaside, a mackerel is in full glory and good numbers, and quite a few of them migrated from the sea straight to my fridge!

63 comments:

Robin said...

Hi Vasily

I'm glad you like East Sussex! I know it quite well because my partner's parents lived near Eastbourne, and it is a very beautiful part of Britain. There are some great walks if you get time between rehearsals and all those performances of Macbeth. Glad to hear that you think Macbeth is going well.

It's amazing to think that you're going to rehearse such a major work as Parsifal just for the Spanish tour, but it was fantastic to see that it's been sold out for some time. A lot of opera because when you get back from St Petersburg there'll be all those Eugene Onegins in Paris. But before that looking forward to your concert with Simon on 3 July.

Will, of course, also look forward to the recordings of Shostakovich 3 and 6 (release in 2011 I suppose) and I'm sure you'll encourage the orchestra to put in the extra effort for the 3rd. Any more Shostakovich due out before those symphonies? The Jennifer Higdon disc in the autumn will be interesting and I still have to get a copy of Susanna's Secret.

The local press today reports local politicians seeing possible financial problems about the China tour, so we must all hope that they resolve this positively as soon as possible.

You have a busy summer indeed, but keep enjoying it, especially all the time you'll be in Sussex. Apart from walks, there are loads of good pubs with gardens where you can sit with some beer and food. You need to try Harvey's Sussex bitter!

Best wishes

Robin said...

Back again - good reviews of Macbeth in the London Evening Standard and The Daily Telegraph...

Jane. said...

Dear Vasily,

Secretly I have always wanted to go to an opera but I have felt embarrassed to admit it. Such as getting dirty looks from friends who want to go and see Black Eyed Peas (which I don't mind but still).

What is so strange about the staging of Macbeth? Is it the Lady Macbeth scene? Or the superstitions of the play itself? Tried to get tickets to the Proms on 19th July as I am going to a conference at the British Library that day and it was sold out. What a shame- I wanted to be on the tv (and support the RLPO of course)!

jill said...

Hi Vasily. You make East Sussex sound idyllic, even though you are working hard too. Apart from Brighton where we had a couple of family holidays when I was young, I don't really know the rest of the area. The pictures of Macbeth on the Glyndebourne website show that it's a very interesting production. Has it helped that it has been done before, so that the purists know to stay away and the shock has been greatly reduced. Have you done operas in this modern way before? The write-up in the Telegraph makes it sound really exciting and nice remarks about your conducting too!

I am so glad you are having some time in St Petersburg, although as you say you will probably not have much time to yourself with so many people wanting to see you and catch up.

I will see you next at the Phil for Manfred and then you will all be dashing down to London for the Prom next day.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.
jill

Robin said...

Inspired by Vasily mentioning Shostakovich's 3rd Symphony, I listened to it again last night (1984, Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rozhdestvensky). It is certainly very impressive and I see what Vasily meant about the difficulties for the players, so best wishes to the orchestra for a successful recording. The choir's going to have to be on pretty good form too! I hope we're going to get a live performance sometime.

Talking of live performances, Mahler fans without tickets for next season's performances of the 4th, 5th, 6th and seventh symphonies should get their skates on. It already looks as if tickets are gong to be scarce!

Robin said...

I see the NYO is back at the Phil in January, conducted this time by Kristian Jarvi. That's a concert not to be missed.

Found last night's Jon Lord concert very enjoyable and the Concerto great fun.

Joanne said...

Hi

We actually came to see the opera on Thursday as "our" conductor was there; and it was fantastic. The staging worked really well and it was good to hear the well deserved cheers for the orchestra!

When we got home our bumper bundle of tickets for 2010/11 had arrived as well so lots to look forward to.

Thanks a lot.

violin player said...

Does anyone know if Glydnbourne still has a dress code. I only ask because I was thinking the other day about changes in attitude to concert dress for audience to try and make it not ellitist - which is a good thing. I was recently told of once by a women who told me that I should not have gone to a concert in a T-shirt. I then promptly responded that music has nothing whatsoever do with dress and the purpose of going to a concert is for the listing experience and not to dress up. Maby I was a bit rude!

Robin said...

Glad that Joanne got to the opera and enjoyed it so much - it's got some really good reviews. I received our bumper envelope of tickets for next season too and there really is so much to look forward to.

I'm sure, violin player, you were quite right in what you said to the woman who complained about you attending a concert in a tee shirt - she was rude, not you. It's nothing to do with her what you wear, though I suppose I can imagine some forms of dress that might upset people! I think it's great that people now feel comfortable coming to concerts in jeans etc., and would hate to put people off by insisting that everybody dressed up like they did in the past. I agree that the listening experience is the point of a concert, not some limited notion of appropriate dress. I don't know if Glyndebourne still has a dress code, but if it does, it's time it was abolished. I think it's time, too, that orchestras got rid of penguin suits for their male players.

violin player said...

Interesting what you say about orchestra dress as well. I personaly hate playing in a suit/DJ as it reduces fluidity in bow arm. I do however appriciate that some people in audience almost expect to see an orchestra in DJ/white tie etc, as they are the ones paying for the ticket!

Robin said...

I know a lot of concert-goers like the formal dress, and they are buying the tickets, but I also think that many people would agree that it's now outdated. For the future, I think it's very off-putting for new audience and we have to think of who is going to attend concerts when a lot of us are no longer around. Which orchestra is going to be brave enough to take the lead?

jill said...

Hello everyone. There was quite a discussion on the Phil's facebook page about orchestra uniform a few months ago and some people felt that if they didn't do the full, formal dress the world would end, honestly. They can still have a uniform, but one that is more comfortable to work in. I also feel the women need to dress up more to match the men. Many of them do, but some look as if they have regular black trousers and a cotton top, ie. nothing special. It's the same in my own choir and I am always saying "a full length black evening skirt means a full length black evening skirt and not something you go to work in, however smart." I am definitely in favour of a change at the Phil, to something more comfortable for the orchestra men in particular. As far as the audience is concerned, anything goes really. I always dress up, but I don't expect everyone to and I am always delighted when there are young people in the audience. They can come in any kind of scruff they want to, as long as they don't cough!!!

I am at the Phil to see Manfred next month and I am determined to attend, having missed four or five concerts over the past month or so.

All the reviews for Macbeth are complimentary about Vasily and the orchestra, which is great. Vasily, how do you manage to keep the interest up when you are doing something for the 9th, 10th, 11th time? I guess it's like the theatre, when every night is a new performance. I just answered my own question! I hope you are still enjoying it all and that the opera house is air conditioned! Did you get to see Knight Crew with Gareth Malone's chorus of young people? It had great reviews, although the story of the preparation is being shown on TV now. The music seemed very difficult for newcomers to singing.

jill

JoyceandCarole said...

Hello Vasily

Let us be the very first to wish you a wonderful birthday and many happy returns of the day for next Wednesday! It seems no time since you were cutting your cake in Malta to celebrate your 30th at the beginning of what has been such an exciting 4 years for the RLPO under your guidance, and for you personally. Not to mention how much pleasure you have brought to us and so many more.

We thought last night's White Nights concert was tremendous and, having attended your Open Rehearsal, we could appreciate how much time and effort was put into this, both by you and the hard-working orchestra.

You have already hooked us on what we know is one of your favourites, Manfred, and look forward to hearing this again on the 18th.

We have come to love you and your lovely family in the short time you have been here and we send our best wishes for a great Birthday.

Joyce and Carole

Robin said...

Hi all

I didn't know about Vasily's birthday. but Happy Birthday from me too!!

The concert on Saturday was magnificent. We took a visitor from Chicago, who was greatly impressed, so I was really pleased because she's used to a different, well-known band. Very many thanks to Vasily, Simon and all the players. And, of course, thanks too to everyone at the Phil who makes the concerts possible.

For complicated reasons, I can't now go to Manfred, but we've given our tickets to people we know will really enjoy the concert and I'm already greatly looking forward to the new season in September. Not really too far away now.

Going back to Jill: sorry you've had all these problems - I hope they are really all over now and that you do get to Manfred. I wasn't meaning to say that the orchestra should dress anyhow, but only that I think that the penguin look is well past it's sell-by date. The audience dress should be what they feel comfortable in, because I'm sure the more relaxed approach to clothes appropriate for concerts has encouraged more people, especially younger ones, to come along. I agree entirely that the coughing needs to be controlled, though it wasn't as bad on Saturday as it is sometimes.

jill said...

Hi. Robin, I wasn't criticising you, but the people in the Facebook discussion. Those in favour of continuing the penguin look thought any sort of change would be a disaster, which I thought was ridiculous and said so.
I am almost back to normal, thanks. I am still on mega dose antibiotics for one more week, but my pain relief device is working fine and the wound has finally healed. I am really looking forward to Manfred, especially as I missed Saturday's concert as I was singing with my own choir.

Happy birthday for 7th from me too Vasily - I share all of Carole and Joyce's sentiments. I expect you will move on from LIverpool some day and right now I can't imagine anyone taking your place who could give us the excitement and huge pleasure we get from watching you conduct, quite apart from the fabulous impact you have on our orchestra. I see you will still be at Glyndebourne on your birthday, hope you will not be celebrating alone. Have a great time, whatever you do!

Jill

Robin said...

Great review of the recording of Shostakovich 8 in this week's Sunday Times (CD of the Week). It's on Vasily's pages at IMG Artists for those who want to see it.

johanna said...

Hi Jill

Glad to read your comment about young people going in any old scruff, as that's a very accurate description of what my son wears.

jill said...

Johanna - he sounds like a very balanced young man, trying various forms of culture, but being his own man.
jill

JoyceandCarole said...

Hi Vasily

Hope you are enjoying your birthday and heard our dedication to you this lunchtime on Classic FM. Jamie Crick said thanks for the reminder of this and sent his own good wishes and our message that we thanked you for making Liverpool your second home. You're in good company sharing your birth date with Mahler!

Many happy returns.

Vasily said...

Thanks to everyone for greetings!
My birthday was very busy (as usual!) with travel and conducting...
All July is quite packed between Glyndebourne, London and Liverpool!

Jane. said...

Dear Vasily,

I know exactly how you feel! I spent my birthday travelling to Oxford for a conference on social research methods. By way, thanks for signing my CD on Saturday.

Good luck for the Proms!

Robin said...

Certainly a busy summer for you Vasily, but hope you at least managed a celebratory drink on your birthday!

I finally bought a CD of Susanna's Secret, which is very good and it's been very enjoyable reliving the performance at the Phil. I really recommend this to people.

Excellent to see in today's Times that Richard Morrison has selected the Phil's Prom as one of the highlights, so like everyone else I hope that it goes really well.

jill said...

Hello everyone. Vasily, I so enjoyed the Manfred concert this afternoon. What a fantastic piece of music, although I have the CD I had not really appreciated its moods until I saw it live today. I will be so proud tomorrow evening when you are all playing it in London and can't wait to see the broadcast later in the week. Have a wonderful time in London - I see 5* reviews!

jill

JoyceandCarole said...

Hi!

What a sensational Manfred at the Phil yesterday! Many thanks for a wonderful afternoon even though it was so moving that it left us with tears rolling down our faces.

We will be listening to you again on Radio 3 tonight and watching you next Saturday on TV and this time we will keep a box of Kleenex handy!

Good luck to you and the magnificent RLPO at the Proms. Knock them in the aisles (we know you will).

Hope you and your family enjoy the rest of the summer.

Titus said...

Well…! What a stupendous, stunning performance of "Manfred" at the Proms last night! A really searing, passionately Russian performance. The RLPO gave their all and received a deservedly prolonged ovation from the Prommers. "Manfred" must almost be considered the RLPO's "calling card" now, I think. I was sitting in the side stalls and thus could watch Vasily's conducting closely. One could only admire all that sustained intensity of focus through an hour of some of Tchaikovsky's most fiercely and exhaustingly expressive music. I look forward to watching the TV transmission on Saturday! Congratulations, Vasily and the RLPO!

Robin said...

I've been abroad, so I missed last Sunday's concert and the Prom. What a pity when they were obviously so exciting and well received! The reviews are all tremendous - even though 4*, they sound like 5*! - so I add my congratulations to Vasily and the band who consistently give us so much enjoyment.

After the last Glyndebourne Macbeth today, I think Vasily now has a break before the Paris opera and on 17 September, the new season in Liverpool (and round the world), so I hope he enjoys the short rest. Looking forward, Vasily, to your concert return to Liverpool on 25 September (and to Libor before that).

jill said...

Hi Robin - it sounds as though you also missed the broadcast yesterday on BBC2, 7pm. It was tremendous and, in the concert interval, there was a film about the Phil and the work at Faith Primary School. The head said they normally have 20% of pupils exceeding target, but this past year they had 78%. Isn't that wonderful and encouraging. I do hope the funding continues. Sally Anne Andersons has done a fabulous job there and the Liverpool group is months ahead of the other two pilots.
Back to the orchestra and Vasily, they are touring Spain quite soon, although I hear the orchestra have a 3 week break now, returning on 13
Aug for rehearsals. Do watch the prom concert on BBC Iplayer, it's well worth it.
Vasily, hope you have a great time and some rest in St Petersburg and then enjoy Spain, Paris and China. Hope the rest of Macbeth went well, with the new principal singer.
jill

Robin said...

Hi Jill

Yes, I missed the broadcast yesterday and my computer has lost it's sound today, so I haven't got to it on iPlayer. Very unfortunate because I'm away tomorrow again for a few days and can't get the computer fixed! Will have to try when I get back... Absolutely agree about what a wonderful job's being done in Everton (and all the other fantastic education work).

I'd forgotten about the Spanish tour, and that's going to involve some rehearsal for Parsifal. All the best to Vasily and the band for that.

I see that Vasily and the orchestra are at the Albert Hall again on 30 September for a Classic FM concert, just the day before they perform again in Liverpool. Sounds like a very hectic life coming up because that's not long before China.

Robin said...

All the best to you, Vasily (and to the orchestra) for a successful Spanish tour. Hope it all goes wonderfully well and that you have a good break afterwards.

Robin said...

Great coverage of the Spanish tour in the Liverpool Press!. Hope there's a lot in Spain too.

jill said...

Robin - are you keeping up with the blogs? Catherine's Culture Chat blog is very amusing and Brendan Ball has a very interesting one too (brendanball.com).
jill

Robin said...

Hi Jill

I was keeping up with Catherine and now I've been looking at Brendan's blog (also some photos on Mark McNulty's: http://blog.mcnulty.co.uk) and these are all great to see.

What I'm really waiting for is the Spanish Press reaction and so far I haven't been able to find any by Googling. I expect it will get posted on the Phil on tour blog.

Robin

Jane. said...

Dear Robin,

I thought you might like this website:

http://liverpoolphilharmonicontour.wordpress.com

It has some of the Spanish reviews of the tour on this witty blog.

Hope you are feeling better Jill?

Kind regards.

Robin said...

Hi Jane

Thanks. I had a look and the reviews are impressive! Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, but Parsifal's quite an act to get together and a success for which we should be grateful to all involved under Vasily's brilliant musical leadership. The whole tour seems to have been a great success, which is wonderful to see and hope everyone gets a good break now before the start of the new season. Looking forward to that!

Sorry to note that Jill's been ill and hope for a speedy recovery.

Vasily: have a good rest before Eugene Onegin in Paris!

Best wishhes

jill said...

Hello everyone. The reviews of Spain have been brilliant and Brendan Ball's blog has been super with lots of photos etc. Jane, I haven't been ill since my surgery and infection back in May/June, but I have taken all summer to recover. I am now virtually back to normal except 2 stone lighter!

My choir starts back next Tuesday and we have a lot on before Christmas, so I guess my life will rejoin the mad merry-go-round. I have 36 tickets for the Phil, now I just have to pay for them! The payments this year are running from Aug to Jan - I had to complain, what about Christmas shopping and the sales?!

Vasily, I guess you will be off to Paris shortly to rehearse the opera there and back here to sort out the China tour - busy, busy! I am sure you feel better after a few days sunshine. I am very much looking forward to the Fairy Tales concert in December. Prokofiev's Cinderella was in the first concert I saw you conduct in Liverpool and that magic left hand had me hooked from that moment!
Good luck with all your forthcoming engagements and look forward to seeing you in Hope Street on 25 September.
jill

Robin said...

Glad you weren't ill Jill and hope you're not missing the 2 stones in weight you've lost! Had a big shock earlier paying for the season's tickets all at once, but now we can enjoy the concerts without thinking about paying for the tickets!!

Nicetas Coniates has posted a link on the Phil Facebook page to an excellent review of Parsifal in El Pais. Congratluations to everyone again.

Robin said...

Hello All

It was great to see Libor back in Liverpool for this week's performances and I enjoyed the concert yesterday. I hope that everyone who went on Wednesday in Liverpool and Preston on Thursday also enjoyed it. I'd never heard the Suk before and it was very pleasant, and Pavel Sporcl's performance of the Korngold - as well as his encore - was excellent. What a pleasure to see that we finally have a new principal horn, with such a fine record.

I hope, Vasily, that all is going well with Eugene Onegin in Paris, and like many others, I'm looking forward to you being back on the platform in Liverpool next Saturday. I see that you have performances of Onegin on Thursday evening next week as well as in the Sunday afternoon after the concert in Liverpool. What a whirlwind life!

Best wishes

Karen said...

I very much enjoyed the seasons' opening too. Suk was a complete unknown to me so his Scherzo Fantastique was a pleasant surprise. I went on Wednesday and we didn't get an encore from Mr. Sporcl, so you were lucky Robin!. What did he play?.

Am looking forward to the Classic FM concert on 1st Ocotber!.

Robin said...

For his encore last night, Karen, Pavel Sporcl played Paganiniana by Nathan Milstein - quite a long piece, very enjoyable and most virtuosic! Do you know about Sporcl's blue violin? See: http://pavelsporcl.com/

Looking forward to Vasily's Russian night first, but then to the Classic FM concert. Should be fun and Vasily's conducting a different concert the next night too. I'm full of admiration for the stamina!

Karen said...

Thank you for the encore info, Robin. I've not heard of this piece before or its' composer, will have to look them up. The story behind Pavel Sporcls' violin is a interesting one. He's certainly succeeded in being unconvential!.

You definately need Marathon levels of stamina to be a successful conductor, it seems. I just hope Vasily finds time to stand and stare occasionaly!.

jill said...

Hello everyone. I enjoyed the Wednesday opening very much. All pieces wonderful, known and unknown. We tried very hard to get an encore, with about 5 returns to the platform, so it wasn't lack of appreciation. Have the reviews of Eugine Onegin been good? I expect so, it's just what we expect now, isn't it? I will be at the Russian concert and also 1 Oct, it will be great to hear the 1812 live, I have never heard it live before. Lots to look forward to.
jill

Robin said...

This is the only review of Onegin I've seen Jill, But it's headed 'INCREDIBLE MR PETRENKO!' - we don't need telling that - and it's decidedly very good indeed:

http://opera-cake.blogspot.com/2010/09/onegin-in-paris-incredible-mrpetrenko.html

Nathan Milstein, Karen, was an incredible violinist born in Russia, but who worked mostly in the States.

jill said...

I love that review! Oh, yeah, way to go, Vas!!!

violin player said...

Shostakovich 10 CD out on November 1

Robin said...

Many thanks for info Violin Player - I'd been wondering when it was coming and will look forward to it a lot.

I understand the release of the DG disc with Hilary Hahn playing the Higdon and Tchaikovsky violin concertos has been delayed from this month to January. Can anyone confirm or correct this?

violin player said...

Hi Robin,

Don't know about Hahn CD. Do you know wether it was a live or studio recording?

Robin said...

Hi Violin Player

I don't know if it's a studio recording or if it was recorded in the Hall. but I've found the info on DG:

http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/cat/single?PRODUCT_NR=4778777

It seems it's released in the US, but is not being released here until January. The Higdon concerto won a Pulitzer prize this year.

Robin said...

P.S. The disc of Shostakovich 10 can be pre-ordered on amazon.co.uk for £4.99

Robin said...

Hi Vasily

It's amazing that you're now conducting in Paris so soon after last nights concert in Liverpool, with yet another Onegin on Wednesday before you dash back to Liverpool for nest Wednesday/Thursday!

Many thanks for last night's concert. The Capriccio was really good and Miranda's playing quite excellent. The oboe concerto was the first music by Shchedrin that I'd heard and I enjoyed it a lot, so I must listen to some more. Great playing as ever from Jonathan. But I was spellbound by the incredible performance of Shostakovich's 15th, which was truly riveting. Thanks a million again for that to you and to all the members of the orchestra who excelled in this work.

Looking forward to a very different pair of concerts next weekend.

Best wishes

Ruth said...

Hello everyone

At last we are into the new season and it promises to be very exciting!.

I must say a big thank-you to Vasily, the orchestra, soloists, choir and everybody involved in last season's concerts for a fantastic season. Thank you all so much.

Last Saturday's concert was interesting and enjoyable - loved Shostakovich 15 and Jonathan Small's performance was lovely, but, I'm not sure that I fully understood the Shchedrin, the music seemed to me to be 'going somewhere' but not really getting there. I'll have to hear it a few more times to appreciate it more.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opening concert in the Rodewall series. It was an absolute delight to hear (and watch) the Simon Bolivar Quartet from Venezuela. My lasting memory is, not only what they put into their performance, but what they got out of it - sheer joy and satisfaction. It was also good to see so much support from those involved in the local Everton project in the hall. Maybe one day we will see the Orchestra at the Phil - with Vasily conducting!!. That would sell out immediately!

Jill, good to know that you are fit and mobile again.

Hope you relaxed and enjoyed yourself in St Petersburg Vasily. Did you manage to do some fishing?,read any good books?. (The Cherry Orchard is being screened live in HD to FACT from the National Theatre early next year!) Looking forward to hearing about your summer of music making in your next blog, when of course, you have time.

It will soon be time for 'the Shanghai experience' wow! Hope the trip is successful and that everybody enjoys themselves. Who knows, there may be a potential investor in a new waterfront concert hall listening!!! - wouldn't that be marvellous? Looking forward to the preview concert on Saturday.

Anybody read the article in the November issue of BBC Music in which Jonathan Harvey calls for amplification in concert halls and allowing people to come and go and perhaps even to talk during concerts?. It appears that there is a growing number who feel that concert hall etiquette needs to loosen up in order to bring young people to classical music. In this debate I hope the performer(s), and the audience that wants to listen to the finer detail of the music, is not forgotten.

Sorry to hear that Andrew Cornell is leaving. Thanks to him for all the work he has put in at the Phil during the last few years.

Ruth

Ruth said...

Hello everyone

At last we are into the new season and it promises to be very exciting!.

I must say a big thank-you to Vasily, the orchestra, soloists, choir and everybody involved in last season's concerts for a fantastic season. Thank you all so much.

Last Saturday's concert was interesting and enjoyable - loved Shostakovich 15 and Jonathan Small's performance was lovely, but, I'm not sure that I fully understood the Shchedrin, the music seemed to me to be 'going somewhere' but not really getting there. I'll have to hear it a few more times to appreciate it more.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opening concert in the Rodewall series. It was an absolute delight to hear (and watch) the Simon Bolivar Quartet from Venezuela. My lasting memory is, not only what they put into their performance, but what they got out of it - sheer joy and satisfaction. It was also good to see so much support from those involved in the local Everton project in the hall. Maybe one day we will see the Orchestra at the Phil - with Vasily conducting!!. That would sell out immediately!

Jill, good to know that you are fit and mobile again.

Hope you relaxed and enjoyed yourself in St Petersburg Vasily. Did you manage to do some fishing?,read any good books?. (The Cherry Orchard is being screened live in HD to FACT from the National Theatre early next year!) Looking forward to hearing about your summer of music making in your next blog, when of course, you have time.

It will soon be time for 'the Shanghai experience' wow! Hope the trip is successful and that everybody enjoys themselves. Who knows, there may be a potential investor in a new waterfront concert hall listening!!! - wouldn't that be marvellous? Looking forward to the preview concert on Saturday.

Anybody read the article in the November issue of BBC Music in which Jonathan Harvey calls for amplification in concert halls and allowing people to come and go and perhaps even to talk during concerts?. It appears that there is a growing number who feel that concert hall etiquette needs to loosen up in order to bring young people to classical music. In this debate I hope the performer(s), and the audience that wants to listen to the finer detail of the music, is not forgotten.

Sorry to hear that Andrew Cornell is leaving. Thanks to him for all the work he has put in at the Phil during the last few years.

Ruth

Ruth said...

Sorry for duplication- had a blip!
Ruth

johanna said...

Hi Ruth - I'm all for etiquette being loosened up, but not at the expense of the music or people's enjoyment thereof. I think it's doing a disservice to 'young people' to suggest they can't sit still and quiet for more than ten minutes. They have to sit that long - and longer - in exams.

Perhaps a better option would be to adapt young people to the concert experience, rather than the other way round. I think the Phil really helps in this as they have the family concerts, where a young audience can enjoy the music and the experience without any restrictions, then concerts for slightly older children - though perhaps more could be done with this older age group, say 11 - 16. I remember taking my son to a concert where Vasily gave a brief introduction to each piece (none of which were overly long or too challenging) and it really made a difference to his enjoyment. He didn't have to sit for too long, and the interaction between pieces really helped him focus on what to listen for in the next piece of music. He appreciated being treated as a more mature member of the audience and responded well to the challenge.

I'm am always surprised, though, by the number of parents at his school who would never consider taking their children to a concert at the Phil, even though, when the children have attended one of the school concerts they've enjoyed it. Perhaps more could be done regarding publicity in schools, maybe making a certain number of tickets available at a lower price, or as prizes, for young people to attend but not as a school-based activity - so concert-going becomes seen as the norm - or at least a considered option - rather than something restricted to school. I know the tickets for children are very reasonable, but perhaps the price for the adult ticket is off putting, plus the idea people do have that they will need to go dressed up to the nines and that it is an alien environment.

The Phil shop doesn't seem to have anything other than CDs - though I could be mistaken on this. Maybe if space can be found for a shop, some smaller items could be offered for sale - notebooks, pencils, non-noisy sweets, even T-shirts/badges?

Just a few pre-coffee thoughts, so possibly not very coherent.

Johanna

jill said...

Hi everyone. I think the idea of movement in the hall comes across from pop concerts. I have been to a John Lennon event at Phil Hall and was surprised to see people coming and going for drinks! (and then the loo presumably!) I think watching a "performance" makes that easier, but you need to listen to a classical concert so I don't think it should be an option. Think how we all hate the coughing, imagine how we would react if people started coming and going.

I think the Phil does a great deal to attract children and young people, but perhaps students are a different audience and might respond to more interesting publicity about the pieces to be played. Links to literature or history?

My comment on FB about the Russian concert has been included in an e.mail from the Phil - fame at last!

re. shop - they used to sell a few things on concert nights in the foyer bar, several music linked items, not sure if they still do.
I would like to buy something of quality to show off my support for the Phil, although I am very proud to say I was recently given a pin of the Phil's logo which I will wear at every concert.

Vasily - how do you feel now about two long opera engagements in the same year? I am sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but has it been an effort, with Spain and China tours as well?

Looking forward to this evening and I am singing in Sefton Park Palm House on Sunday afternoon!

jill

Karen said...

Hi everyone,

I agree with johanna re. young people and classical concerts. Sitting quietly and listening should be simple for most people above primary school age. As for amplification, if this was introduced (entirely superfulously) in Phil concerts I for one - a young person - would not attend!. Perhaps, though, there could be more brief conductor introductions to pieces played. It creates intimacy and perspective.

Am also looking forward to this evenings' concert!.

Robin said...

Hello All

I'm full of admiration for everything the Phil is doing to bring music to children, and I hope all of those who can will support the latest initiative announced today.

I also agree that we need to do everything to encourage new audiences, especially but not exclusively, young people - though, of course, young people are the essential audience of the future.

In encouraging people to come to concerts and support music-making, it's of course important to move with the times and not to stick to outdated and irrelevant conventions. First off, I reiterate the need for the orchestra to abandon its dates penguin dress, which I think puts off a lot of people who aren't used to it. I'm not suggesting torn jeans, bare midriffs and trousers half hanging-off, but just a more sensible approach to mirror the more casual style of dress that most concert-goers have long-since adopted.

Like Jill, I've been to popular concerts where people wander in and out to bars and loos, including the After Eight series at the Phil. This seemed odd at first, but does not seem disruptive in the context of the concerts where it's the norm. I do think,though, that for most 'classical' concerts the music needs more concentration and quiet. Historically, this wasn't the case and people talked, walked around and clapped between movements, but I think we've learnt that you get more from the music if this behaviour is modified.

So, while a less stuffy approach is ideal and conductor introductions can be very useful, I don't think it would be a good idea to abandon the ideas of people keeping quiet and still during the music. And I think we underestimate the young if we think them incapable of that. As for amplification, I agree with Karen that it would be superfluous - except in pieces where it is a planned effect.

I still don't like applause between movements, and there are works that can for me be ruined by this, but I am more relaxed than I was. If we are going to attract new audiences, I think we have to accept that some people who don't know the conventions are going to applaud between movements. I f we glare at them, they may not come back! I think, though, I'd stop attending if people roamed about during concerts.

There'll be lots of opportunities tonight, at least, for frequent applause!!

Robin said...

Very enjoyable concert tonight, and I think a very good time had by all! Many thanks Vasily and everyone else involved.

Looking forward to Wondrous Place tomorrow, which I'm sure will be a very different experience, but I've no doubt will be just as enjoyable.

Robin said...

Wondrous Place was a a really fantastic, fun night Vasily. Many thanks, and hope you really wow then in Shanghai later this month!

Ruth said...

Well said Robin!
Liverpool can boast the best and most versatile orchestra in the world!!

Enjoy China all of you and good luck. Thanks for Liverpool Wondrous Place.

Ruth

jill said...

I had a ticket for Wednesday, but missed the concert as I was too tired (CFS) I tried to rest for an hour beforehand, but could not get out of the chair (after several very active and "unpaced" days). The local reviews were not 100% positive - one said the orchestra was out of time and the other blamed the conductor for his tempi. I am sure it sounded fine to the audience, which I hope was big. I noticed from Bachtrack that Vasily is going to Tokyo in January. Vasily, is Japanese one of your languages? Hope Paris has been a success, I think you finish on Monday next, then China. Look forward to hearing your news when you have a minute to spare.

jill

Robin said...

Yes, Jill, the reviews weren't 100% positive, but I'm sure the audience on Wednesday enjoyed the performances as much as it did when I was there on Thursday! It was very impressive, and so sorry you weren't able to be there. Not very good audiences considering Ashkenazy was conducting .. but not dreadful. Some sell-outs coming up in early November for Vasily's return!

I noticed too that Vasily soon finishes Onegin after a long stint soon and that is conducting the NHK in Tokyo next year. You certainly get about Vasily, but I hope things are not quite as hectic as they've seemed to be recently! And, as Jill says, if you ever get a minute, it would be good for a few words from you on all that's been going on.

Best

Anne said...

Hi Vasily,

I visited Eastbourne many years ago and it is very beautiful, I walked along the beach and have a lot of memories from my visit there, I really enjoyed the people.

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