Will You Go Walk The Woods So Wild? Paul O’Dette, Lunchtime Concert, Wigmore Hall, 2 October 2017

I used to say that there are only two places left in the world where stewards and patrons still call me young man; Wigmore Hall and Lord’s.

Today I must sadly report that I went to both places and was referred to not once as young man. This is becoming a pattern. What is going on?

Still, apart from my awareness of my fast disappearing “youth”, the lunchtime concert at the Wigmore Hall was an absolute delight. Janie and I both very much enjoy the relaxing nature of this type of music…perhaps it’s our age?

Paul O’Dette is no youngster either – indeed he looks a little like father Christmas these days, making his press photos a little dated, perhaps.

But boy can he play the lute, jamming good with Byrd and Dowland…

…here is the Wigmore Hall resource on this concert, so you can read all about it.

There was a rather lovely Bacheler Pavane and Galliard between the two pieces listed for Bacheler on the above resource.

This was a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert, so still available at the time of writing for another four weeks or so if you are in  the right country or can convince the BBC iPlayer that you are – click here.

There was a delightful encore of an Italian Renaissance piece – sadly I missed the name of it and the broadcast missed the piece completely. It was lovely.

As was the whole concert. Very soothing music. I realised that this type of music would suit me very well for when I’m working or relaxing, so I downloaded some and bought a couple of CDs on-line too.

The above double CD was the closest I could find to the concert we heard (and lots more besides). I snapped up the last currently available copy at a sensible price on Amazon, but you might want to look occasionally and/or elsewhere for it.

Janie and I enjoyed a fine lunch at The Wig after the concert, then on to Lord’s (via Noddyland) for the end of season Middlesex Forum and drinks party, not that there was anything to celebrate. Still, the forum went as well as can be expected and it was good to see people at the end of the season.

This evening (the next day), I am mellowing out, listening to Paul O’Dette on the lute, while writing this Ogblog piece. Such sweet sounds.

Laura Snowden, Lunchtime Concert, St John’s Smith Square, 1 December 2016

A planned, much needed break in the middle of a busy day in a busy week.

First stop, Lock and Co. to replace my sorely missed Vermont hat. No blame attached to whatever happened during our Royal Academy evening a few weeks ago; merely to say that Daisy should stick to driving duties and avoid hat-stand duties; while I should retain full responsibility for my own hats whatever other duties I am undertaking.

Then on to St John’s Smith Square for the lunchtime concert.

selfie-with-new-hat-and-enormous-organ
Selfie With New Hat and Enormous Organ

I messaged Daisy with the above picture and caption, to let her know that I had replaced the hat and to show off the fact that I was taking a substantial enough break to take in a lunchtime concert on my tod. The reply:

What the…?

The concert was lovely. We saw Laura Snowden at SJSS a couple of years ago; a very talented young guitarist who comes across very nicely.

The centrepiece of this concert was a new work by Wally Gunn, an American composer who seems to have written this piece especially for Laura under commission of a young composers/performers scheme.

Laura show-pieced the new work by framing it with works by better-known composers, although not especially well-known works. A beautiful Dowland to start. Then Villa-Lobos’s preludes; I realised I knew the first well but had never heard the others before.

I enjoyed the Wally Gunn piece; it was based on Darwin diaries and had some very evocative passages, although the whispered words didn’t really float my Beagle, as it were.

Then a couple of Barrios waltzes and finally a short piece by Rodrigo.

Here is a link to the SJSS site page for the concert…

…and in case SJSS isn’t archiving as it should, here is my permanent link of that page.

Perfect way to set myself up for an afternoon of grind and also for an evening of jamming with DJ on my baritone baroq-ulele. Although, after listening to a virtuoso like Laura Snowden, my own pluckings and strummings are brought into perspective.

 

Joanna MacGregor and Britten Sinfonia, Reverb: Roundhouse, 23 January 2010

We went to two classical concerts with early music leanings at the Roundhouse in the space of three days as part of the Reverb series; we loved both.

This was the first of the two, on the Saturday.

We hadn’t seen Joanna MacGregor before, although we had heard of her. I was aware that she had been a Gresham professor of music.

There was real flare and excitement to this concert; a really interesting blend of early music, south american music and contemporary and jazz themes.

In the moment, I bought a couple of Joanna MacGregor albums on the night:

We’ve listened to these albums a lot and had a lot of enjoyment from them, although they bear little resemblance to the music we heard that night.

Subsequently I bought another one, Play, which reflected at least a couple of the items we heard in the concert.

Here is an interesting video interview with MacGregor on the Telegraph website, made just before this concert.

Anyway, the concert was lovely and left us very excited ahead of the next one, a mere two days away.

Xuefei Yang, Wigmore Hall, 6 February 2009

Even by our enthusiastic standards, three visits to the Wigmore Hall within three weeks is going some.

Xuefei Yang is a superb guitarist, though and this was a very interesting programme:

A real mixture of stuff.

We really liked all of it. And we really liked Xuefei Yang too.

This concert was a very relaxing end to (by the looks of it) a pretty full-on working week.