I’ve just got home from seeing the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestra. It was the first orchestral performance I’ve seen (excluding the school orchestra that is) and I really enjoyed it. The first piece they performed was Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn. I really enjoyed the way you could hear either the same tune with a different rhythm, or the original rhythm with a different tune and how all of the instruments were used in this piece.
The second piece absolutely blew me away though. It was Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.1, with Stephen Hough playing the piano. It was gob smacking to see someone play so stupendously well. To see what his hands were doing was amazing really, and the way the piano slotted in with the orchestra but then stood out so beautifully during the piano solos was fabulous. I was a little worried at times though as he turned an alarming shade of puce! I could go on and on describing how amazing it all was as I was completely mesmerised but I will probably run out of superlatives at this rate so just have a listen:
The final piece was a piece which I bet even Mr.J would have heard, at least the beginning anyway, as it was the piece of music which inspired 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I was really hoping that this person had worked their magic with piece as it would be fabulous to see all of the instruments displayed visually. There were so many instruments performing in this piece and all of them were showcased. There were so many contrasts in volume and pace throughout the piece but I still think the guy who got to do the “dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum” part near the beginning gets to have the most fun!
I had a really great evening though and I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the classical events programme at the city hall!