Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Postcard from the Proms

Tradition, grandeur, eccentricity – the Proms could fill the Albert Hall several times over. The best thing about Prom 62 though – some Beethoven and Sibelius, played by the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester – was that they did it differently.

Think classical music is boring? The way these guys play it, it's packed with energy. And it's a treat for the eyes as well as the ears. The predominantly female string section used bare arms to draw elegant arcs with their bows, while the dapper double bassists dipped their instruments in an embrace like lovers on the dance floor. If it wasn't choreographed it could have been. And, when it was all over, the orchestra shared the type of celebratory hugs usually reserved for the football pitch.

OK, so it'll take more than this to bring classical music to the masses. Must the orchestra wear black tie? Couldn't someone speak to the audience occasionally? But, last night at the proms, I enjoyed a performance that was modern, accessible and down to earth.

1 comment:

PLJAIKJ said...

According to someone who watched the concert on TV, the reason stated for the hugging was that it was the last night of a long tour. Apparently this orchestra, consisting mainly of Germans, receive over 3000 applications every year.