About 12 months ago I was with my brother Chris bringing my mum home from hospital and he was playing the most wonderful music. So calming after the worrying previous few weeks. He told me about his love of classical music, kindly gave me a CD and I was converted. I began listening to classic FM
And this music became the backdrop to all my Christmas preparations. I loved it; rousing, gentle, consoling and vibrant but never invasive or brash. However….I knew and still know nothing about it other than it transports me through multiple emotions in a matter of minutes like no other medium I had encountered. I am ignorant about the operas, the meanings, composers and conductors and slightly concerned that it’s not really meant for someone like me!!! And here is where my great friend Helen comes into the picture. Her 50@50 challenge for me was to go to The Royal Albert Hall with her to listen to the St Petersberg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov and featuring violinist Julia Fischer.
I negotiated the trains and underground and met Helen who treated me to an amazing pre-show meal at a Polish restaurant – Ognisko just around the corner from the Royal Albert Hall
The food was amazing and we dragged ourselves away (reluctantly missing pudding) to arrive just in time to take up the fantastic seats Helen had booked, front row stalls within Spitting distant of the orchestra and providing prime viewing of the people standing in the pits, the architecture of the building and allowing a great sense of being in the midst of it all. I freely admit I was nervous and excited but the next two hours flew by and I was wowed at the skill of the violinist whose body and facial expressions added to the expression of the music. The conductor was quirky with his to and fro-ing back and forth, the stamping of the feet by the audience which resonated through you, the most phenomenal music, all came together…but not to alienate; quite the opposite. The people around me were diverse in age, gender, dress sense but we all shared the bond of loving the music which was not staid or static to view as I had imagined but fluid and dynamic. I also managed to avoid my biggest fear of clapping in the wrong place, just!! Plus, I bought the programme, because whilst you don’t need to know anything, I now feel I would like to. Thanks Helen for a brilliant evenings entertainment and broadening my horizons, I certainly intend to attend more concerts in the future and without any foolish concerns.