Monday, 25 August 2008

Four more years! (Oh, and Proms 50, 51 and 52.) It's cool . . .

Of Proms, and then the Olympics . . .they're ours now! That handover segment—new version of the national anthem (played by the LSO) . . . a new 'Whole Lotta Love' (!) . . . . Cool or what?

Prom reviews of 50, 51 and 52 coming up soon. I spent all afternoon and the evening at the RAH, but see the 'Carnival' sidebar; you'll have to bear with us. I only got home at midnight, as did my colleague Zeina who's doing the St John Passion and who lives in the Carnival zone, too.

It's nearly 2am and the vultures are still coming round collecting the rubbish those 2 million visitors left behind, the street sweeping machines are trundling up and down spraying the streets and the pavements, somebody is playing jazz trumpet solos in the street opposite my flat (quite well, actually) but I want to go to sleep before it all starts at 10 am again!

Simon Preston did a really challenging and fascinating Bach organ recital, played so sensitively at times you could have almost believed that huge organ had the heart of a harpsichord; and Gardiner had a very different take on the Passion too, and I thought a very thoughtful, cleverly constructed one. Jian Wang was very technically virtuosic in the Cello Suites, even if No 1 was a bit too clever at first . . .

There are, I wish some of the audience would understand, no medals awarded for being the first to applaud. And grasp that when the conductor keeps his left hand raised, as Gardiner did this afternoon, the race does not start until it is down by his side. Pity they can't be disqualified for jumping the gun.

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