06 March 2007

Saturday night

The RSNO was on good form on Saturday night under the baton of Roberto Abbado. A fine performance of Haydn’s 93rd Symphony set the tone for the evening. It was followed by a good rendering of Mozart’s 5th Violin Concerto (though I did find myself wondering about the soloist’s tuning once or twice). But the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Purists might complain that because it was orchestrated by Ravel this is not authentic Mussorgsky. But as far as I am concerned it is none the worse for that. In fact, I think Ravel’s orchestration enriches Mussorgsky’s rather austere original. And Abbado’s conducting seemed to bring out every little detail, making it even livelier and more visual than usual. Wonderful!

As a kind of bonus, the skies were clear enough to see the eclipse of the moon on the way home. Not as spectacular as a solar eclipse but still an awe-inspiring event in its own quiet way.