Monday 25 July 2011


The BOF loves music. Over the past few years, he has been organised enough to buy tickets for the Proms. Last night's Verdi Requiem was his second visit this year. The first had been a late-night performance of the Schubert Quintet (the plucky one.) It was disappointing, with too much sugar added for the BOF's taste. The music itself speaks of romance and emotion; there is no need to add to that with a cloaking and cloying over-use of vibrato.

Last night was the other thing, an amazing performance. Two choral masses, a choir, a full orchestra (including the BIG drums) and 4 soloists make for a huge and apparently cumbersome instrument to wield. Semyon Bychkov played it at times like the lightest of aoelian harps, at times like the mightiest of Thor's hammers. From the very first whispering notes the hairs were up on the back of the neck, and they stayed there until the maestro gave us permission to applaud, a full 40 seconds after the very last echo of the very last note had died away.

Great music, great performance, great memory. The BOF says thank you.