A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cadogan Hall, 09/04/10

Despite living in London for over 10 years there are still some venues/galleries that I haven't been to. Over recent months I have been trying to put that right. 

Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square was one of those venues but tonight I visited it for the first time, and what a beautiful concert hall it is. Light, welcoming and intimate with faultless sightlines and exceptional acoustics. I loved the curves of the balcony. The capacity seemed a lot smaller than the official figure of 900.

Tonight the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played three pieces by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. The first piece played was his 'Festive Overture'. This was the first time I was hearing the piece and it was typical Shostakovich - bold, pure and dynamic. The next two pieces were two of my favourite Shostakovich compositions - his 'Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major' (written in 1957) and his 'Symphony No. 5 in D minor' (written in 1937). 

I think the 'Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major' is a piece of succinct perfection, with the second movement being almost insurpassable in its sheer beauty. 

The powerful, all-encompassing drama of Shostakovich's 'Symphony No. 5 in D minor 'closed the performance. This seems to be a recurring characteristic of many Fifth symphonies. A lot of them seem to contain music of epic scale and grand ambition. Whilst listening in the hall I thought of Beethoven, Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Bruckner, Mahler & Nielsen.

An evening of absorbing, hugely enjoyable music from the RPO.

No comments: