Since we last spoke, the LSO has been busy with Gergiev doing Mahler, Strauss and Mozart with Haitink, and Mozart and Brahms with Previn. It has been non stop, with a whistlestop trip to Paris that was so brief, I didn’t have time to tell you about it. We now have 3 weeks left before the end of term with one more trip to Italy later on in June, and then we can all relax for a couple of weeks before the Prokofiev Cycle starts in Edinburgh before we cover most of the globe in the following months.
I am writing this in my hotel room in Cologne as we tie up a few loose ends from the last tour. We are playing Bruckner 6 and Schubert Unfinished with Sir Colin. Last night we were in Dusseldorf in a concert hall which looks like a cross between the London Planetarium and Guildford Borough Council Chambers. I’m sure you can picture it perfectly. We actually got on a bus after the show and came to stay in Cologne. It made for a very long day as we had checked in at 8 am in terminal 5, but it did mean we all had a very welcome lie in today.
Now those of you who follow our travels, will probably be smiling at the thought of the entire LSO losing their luggage in terminal 5, much like when the instruments didn’t arrive in Dijon. I am happy to report that this time, everything went smoothly, although despite my previous experience of Gordon Ramsey in NY, his full English at £16.50 lost out to a coffee and sandwich in a well known chain.
Of course, as I didn’t have to get up this morning, I woke up bright and early and went for a run along the river in the ever increasing temperature. Its amazing how many people from the orchestra you bump into, running on tour. Mainly the thin ones of course, but with so much sitting around on planes, trains and woodwind sections, it certainly does help blow the cobwebs away.
Sadly any good I did was destroyed by a visit to the Chocolate factory here in Cologne, and the shop. There is a long line of machines which do various things to chocolate and finally spit them out into bags which a little old lady ties up and packs away. Rather disappointingly, she was a normal old lady, didn’t sing and there was no river of chocolate.
Sir Colin is on fine form once again and once again he coaxes a sound out of the orchestra which is unique. Someone asked me last week, why different conductors make the orchestra sound so different. The answer is that I really don’t know, and to be honest I don’t want to think about it too much. I’m sure somebody knows why Sir Colin, Haitink, Previn and Gergiev all make us sound different, but don’t tell me, I’m enjoying the magic.
Besides, I’ve already discovered that umpa loompas aren’t real, and the river is made of water. I can’t take anymore revelations today. I’ve got a concert to do.