qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

The King of Instruments, or Tales of Hoffnung

Beside the piano, I have a tea-towel hanging up bearing a number of helpful musical definitions, such as :-
  • chord - something that organists play with one finger

  • dischord - something that organists play with two fingers
(It doesn't say it's Hoffnung, but it sounds like it to me.)

In the morning I headed for the Tate. I'd been meaning to go to the Lure of the East exhibition all summer; it closes next weekend. My impression was that it was interesting rather than compelling. I was particularly struck by Augustus John's portrait of Colonel T E Lawrence; Richard Caline's Damascus and the Lebanon Mountains from 10,000 Feet, as it reminded me of an exhibition on Italian Futurism of the 1920s at the Estorick Collection a few years back, as well as various works by Leighton, Edward Lear (apparently the same as he of the Runcible Spoon) and John Frederick Lewis.

By the time I arrived for Prom 50, the queue had already filled beyond the top steps, and the hall was surprisingly full for an afternoon concert. But it was the first part of Bach Day, and Simon Preston was giving his first organ recital at the Proms for 25 years. He began with an energetic if not effervescent rendition of the Toccata and Fugue BWV565. The acoustic in the Royal Albert Hall was strikingly different (for the better, for a concert performance) to that of the Frauenkirche in Dresden where I'd been a week or two ago. The other work in the concert I recognised was the "St Anne" Prelude and Fugue BWV552. Interestingly this was split and two further Preludes and a Duetto were inserted in the middle of it, according to the programme notes a structural (and in the case of the Duetto, literal) reference to the Clavierübung III.

I wondered whether to stay for other concerts, but decided I wasn't that passionate about the St John Passion, though the queue as I left indicated that it was going to be a popular concert; a solo recital of three Cello Suites as a Late-Night Prom will have to wait for Listen Again, I think.

But, before I left, I joined a rather busy queue at the Box Office and secured a ticket for the Last Night!
Tags: exhibitions, music
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