qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Brilliant Moments without the Tedious Half-Hours

We headed in to London this morning and went first to St Pancras, and the British Library's Magnificent Maps exhibition. No two ways about it, it does what it says on the tin - there are some splendid maps, including fragments of Roman city plans, mediaeval Mappae Mundi, elevated "bird's eye" city map views, and posters and propaganda maps. In the category of contemporary curiosities we must place Grayson Perry's Map of Nowhere and Stephen Walter's The Island (almost like something out of Will Self's The Book of Dave). Interestingly, although there are plently of London maps in the exhibition, Beck's Tube Map is omitted; someone scholarly may argue that it is a diagram rather than a map, but I think that's an unhelpful distinction.

We headed on to join the queue at the Royal Albert Hall in the early afternoon, and found it surprisingly short, for Sir Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment were due for the evening concert. However, we were only planning on attending the afternoon Prom - an organ recital by Wayne Marshall consisting of Wagner transcriptions by Edwin Lemare. Despite some initial kerfuffle over the fact that the fountain had not been turned off, the concert began in spectacular style with the overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and continued with the overture to Tannhäuser. A more introspective, occasionally somnolent but broadly Messianic improvisation on themes from Tristan und Isolde was followed by a triumphant rendition of The Ride of The Valkyries, which Marshall encored in an improvised form. Definitely worth a visit to Listen Again.
Tags: exhibitions, music
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