Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opera House, Sydney Symphony & Elgar

On Thursday I went with my sister to the last of our 2008 subscription to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. We subscribe each year but now go on Thursday afternoons rather than Friday nights as before when I use to stay the night with my mother. The Thursday afternoon series is a sea of grey hair.unhappy smileys The hall which seats over 2,500 was packed.
We have subscribed again for 2009 but do not know if I will still be living in Australia by the end.
This concert was one in a series on Elgar conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy who will be the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Orchestra for the 3 years commencing January 2009.
The first half was the Violin Concerto in B minor with the Canadian James Ehnes playing the violin. I am afraid the solo violin is not my favourite instrument by a long shot but it received lots of applause and good reviews.

The second half was more to my liking with Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos 1 & 2 followed by the Enigma Variations. It was great to hear the organ being played. This is the world's largest known mechanical action organ but does not seem to be played very often. It seems to throb through the whole building. Now, the organ is my favourite instrument.

I have been able to find Daniel Barenboim with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing the 9th and I guess most popular of the 14 variations - the Nimrod. The organ is only played in the Finale of the Variations as well as in the first P&C March.


June Butler said...

Brain, thanks for this post. For all the pictures of the outside of the opera house that I have seen, I don't believe that I have ever seen the interior of any of the buildings. This one is beautiful. I love the red. I'm glad you got to hear the organ. Thanks, too, for the video.

I want to write about the wee pipe organ in our church, but I've got to get the history of the organ from the church secretary before I post, because I know some of my readers will want to know details. Our organ and the console were not originally together, but both are old.

Where will you be moving?

Brian R said...

Dunedin, New Zealand, God Willing