Thursday, 21 August 2008

Hitting the G-Spot

G as in Gerghiev, of course. And as in Prom 46 with the LSO (in brilliant form, particularly the Leader, who delivered a hauntingly beautiful solo)  playing Sleeping Beauty. (The full version, which we are not that likely to hear again.) I was a little surprised that it seemed to take the audience a while to warm to it, but the thing about Gerghiev is that he constructs his performances with tremendous integrity: he knows where he's going, you follow. And you have to keep your wits about you from the very first few bars, or you won't get it for ages.

A glorious performance, like an Eisenstein film in sonic technicolour, and you could 'see' the story in your mind just as you do listening to a fairytale told you before you've learnt to read it for yourself. Very different to the kind of performance you might imagine from reading the notes, too.

Until tomorrow, however, that's all you'll get, because I've cajoled a friend, who's in London for her annual Proms fix, to write this one up for me to make a bit of a change. And if you didn't listen to it, off with you to the iPlayer at once. As far as I can see, it won't be repeated next week on R3 (or any other time, except possibly in the autumn or spring) in the afternoon, alas.

Some prommers in the Arena just hadn't been concentrating the way they're supposed to. How on earth could you possibly end up so uninvolved and unabsorbed  in a performance like this, and towards the end of Act 3, so you prefer to haul out your mobile phone and read your text messages? (I was momentarily distracted by the blue glow.) Apart from the fact they (there were two of them) shouldn't have had the damn things switched on anyway.

Which reminds me: listening to a few minutes here and there editing things like the interval talk and announcer chatter out of my recording when I got home, I can assure you that the R3 broadcast was about as close to what you would hear from a good seat in the hall as you could get.

(By the way, if you want to hear a broadcast Prom just the way the engineers do in their OB van, you'll need to invest in a pair of Dynaudio Acoustics AIR speakers . . .I asked . . .)

RAH Live

Prom 46: Valery Gerghiev, LSO; Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty 

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