Saturday, July 04, 2015

St. Martin in the Fields Concert 1.

Richard commented that we were seated in the "uneven" rows (we would call it the "odd" section) in St Martins where we were waiting for the performance of Carmina Burana to begin. Seats on the other side were the even rows. He thought it was fitting for me, wobbly as I am, to be in the uneven section. 

As an unexpected bonus we heard the choir sing "Cloudburst" by Eric Whitacre. A sound picture, the piece used "randomly whispered words, tone-clusters and finger-clicks to imitate the sound of rain, as well as employing a diverse percussion section." It was great! Eric is famous on Ted and around the world in choral circles for putting together virtual chorales. You can check one of them out here.

A virtuoso, he wrote Cloudburst at the age of 22. Some people have all the luck..he's handsome, articulate, and hugely talented. 

The Carmina was stunning. I've only seen it twice and I "get" it a little more this time than last. What a showpiece for the kettle drum. The solo parts are very showy also..the tenor sang in a near falsetto; the soprano in something approaching coloratura. There was a children's choir; 14 of them squished together in a little box on the side. They sang only in the final section and had to wait patiently through 2 hours of singing for their turn. You'd see one of them every so often signal to their watcher that they needed the loo. They sang a little section of the piece wedged between the huge choir (50 voices) parts and the amazing soprano..their little kid's voices were a brilliant contrast. 

Our seats could have been better. I chose them because I thought we'd have a good view of all the performers which we did, but we were too far back. Richard called it the "outfield". I did get a good view of the organists feet during "Cloudburst" by craning my neck sideways. The chairs were terribly uncomfortable...our butts were sore at the end. The church seemed to heat up as the Carmina unfolded. 50 singers, going full blast can raise the temperature. It's always uplifting to be part of an appreciative audience and there were plenty of bravos and thunderous applause to accompany the standing O. 

As we walked back to our hotel, Don Giovanni performed live at the Royal Opera House was still raging in Trafalgar and the sirens were screaming by with regularity. The above is not my photo..I lifted it from the "Visit London"site. Live performances broadcast to the square will be occurring all summer. While walking by earlier we noticed this newish statue and wondered what it was. Called "Gift Horse" it has the British stock exchange ticker tape running through it's front paws which represents a blending of art, power and commerce.

Gratefully, we turned off the Strand out of the crowd and ducked down the alley, past the Sherlock Holmes pub where celebrants had spilled out into the street, laughing, drinking, back-slapping, flirting, iphoning, taking selfies and enjoying the warm evening. 

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