Wonderful marketing at Kings Place where everything must come under a title in this.beautiful “airport lounge” under the Guardian`s offices in Kings Cross next to the beautiful Camden Canal.
Escalators and space the like of which have never been seen at the Barbican or RFH.
Wonderful peace reigns with no smell of fried onions and curry that assails you these days in our hallowed concert halls .
Infact a wonderful bowl of soup ……..of course some brown bread that the very nice waitress put in a brown bag for me ……….packaging,you see is their forte , for as I opened it not even the birds would have risked their beaks on it !
Very busy technical team downstairs all communicating frantically to each other via headphones and microphones attached to their heads.
A picture gallery for the interval (unfortunately with beautifully designed labels so small as to be not much use without a magnifier).
All this wonderful packaging but unlike its upstairs neighbours of the Guardian and the Spectator, when you take the lid off to peek inside it is hopelessly empty.
Much was the case yesterday as I tore there to hear the wondrous playing of Louis Schwizgebel (announced ,of course on In Tune )……..or
so I thought……..
“Byron in Switzerland 1816 The Year Without a Summer”, was the obligatory title.
Conceived and curated by Ian Ritchie who was also one of the splendid narrators.
Problems with the microphone,surprising with all the staff in evidence ,but would seem a battery had to be placed in the radio microphone during the performance.
Starting with Louis Schwizgebel’s splendid Erlkonig,which had been much admired at the Wigmore Hall a few weeks ago,followed with a very musicianly account of the first movement of the” Moolight” Sonata and two ravishing pieces by Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn.Interspersed with readings of Byron from Ian Ritchie and Di Sherlock.
Startlingly original performance of Cloches de Geneve the first half ended with a very musicianly( but rather dull for Schwizgebel) performance of Vallee d’Obermann,no doubt learnt for the occasion .
Interminable interval interrupted by a typical overloud and hence incomprehensible announcement that we are used to at airports around the world ,one assumes that the interval was over and we were invited to take up our seats .
Two large music stands had appeared with lights etc and we were in for a Melodrama by the distinguished composer Judith Bingham:”Byron,Violent Progress” premiered in 2008. Based on a modern journey she had made with Ian Ritchie ,the poet Aidan Andrew Dun and photographer Alberto Venzago.
Using a setting of Byrons “She Walks in Beauty” was rather let down by the two new sonnets by Aidan Andrew Dun,which seemed to have to find a rhyming word for the end of each phrase that quite frankly was out of place here and rather puerile.
Music performed most professionally by Schwizgebel but one wonders why this piece should need another airing especially with a musician of such calibre on stage.
However Schubert’s beautiful last uttering “Abschied von der Erde” The music played most beautifully by Schwizgebel ,and thankfully without the rather ordinary words that Schubert had originally set.
To end this rather short second half, Mendelssohn’s Andante e Rondo Capriccioso op 14 .
A wonderful performance as only Perahia or Serkin would have given us but spoilt on this occasion by the narrator thinking she had to recite over the top of such sublime music making…………
All out before nine ….no encores offered from Schwizgebel , although much desired under the circumstances .
And so for the next package Take your pick: Dancing up a new dawn,Spring into Baroque Unwrapped,Living in the moment,A place beyond words,Unlocking the Kora and now arrives on internet The cello unwrapped !
Oh for a simple recital without a title where excellence will speak for itself in this very nice hall without all being wrapped up in a five pound note …….Old Mother Hubbard and all that ………