I suppose that this technically isn’t a tour blog, as I’m actually writing this sitting in my kitchen. We returned to Stansted airport this morning, mercifully before the end of half term rush. I also feel a little guilty, as a large proportion of the orchestra had a few hours at home before rushing up to Angel Studios to record with Placido Domingo. I managed to take that off, hence the guilt-although I’m not suffering too much. But please bear it in mind next time you feel like asking a musician what they do during the day.
Last night we gave the second concert in Madrid (repeated on Sunday at the Barbican-tickets still available). Colin still used his stool, sometimes, and sadly still didn’t kick it off the stage ! Sharon (THE piccolo player) caught up with Sir Colin in the interval and asked how he was feeling. He replied that he’d felt better, but it was difficult to feel ill when we all played as beautifully as we did ! He’s so nice, and I think Sharon, judging by the far away look and teenage smile on her face, was suitably charmed. As I said in the last blog, he’s not man of the year for nothing.
Before the blog masters at LSO towers start getting twitchy at my irreverence, although I know Sir Colin wouldn’t, I suppose I should tell you about the concert!
Schubert’s unfinished symphony is always a favourite of mine. This is partly due to there not being anything terribly difficult for the flute in it. I am always astonished at the blend of sound my woodwind colleagues get in the main theme in the first movement. When the oboe and clarinet play in unison, even though I am sitting right beside them, they sound like one instrument. It really is incredible, I feel like I’m intruding when I have to join in.
Bruckner 6 is a strange work in my opinion. I think its one of those love it or hate it kind of pieces. I know Andrew Marriner is evangelical in his enthusiasm for it, I am a little more unsure. Last night was the second time I have played it with Sir Colin, and it really did start to make sense. Once again, his mastery of the architecture of the whole piece makes for a great performance. I think that the string section all deserve a medal for playing more tremolo bowing than it is polite to ask for. There was a small amount of relaxation for aching joints after the show in the various bars and restaurants, but not too much as we had a very early start this morning.
Its always nice to get home after a tour, although I suppose it doesn’t really finish until Sunday night in London. But I do get to stay in my favourite hotel for a few nights before we welcome Valery back for more Mahler next week.
If you are coming, enjoy the concert on Sunday.