Thursday, 9 September 2010
The show's not over...
etc. And even then, I've still one more Prom to go tonight. Would have been quite happy, though, to take my leave with the quite unexpected fireworks of Monday's late-nighter featuring the ravishing-toned Philippe Jaroussky and irrepressible true contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux (pictured above for the Proms by Chris Christodoulou, who also took the below shots and whose copyright they all are. We hope he'll be featuring in an Arts Desk Proms photo retrospective on Saturday).
You can read what I thought about it here. And it seems like an appropriate place to thank the Arts Desk for pushing me in unpredictable directions, since a baroque late-nighter of Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel and Porpora isn't something I'd have chosen to go to myself. Especially after a Prom I truly did want to hear, the RSNO concert of Berlioz, Beethoven, MacMillan and Respighi, because I knew what to expect from the wonderful Stephan Deneve. I stayed on to hear fiery Corsican Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus only because colleague Alexandra had to call off due to the tube strike. And like most, though not all, of the audience, I found Spinosi's febrile intensity irresistible, especially in the final stamping, hollering tziganery of the Corelli Concerto for recorder and flute. Here he is sparring - as I gather he does to the point of fisticuffs - with his players
and with his delightful soloists after an anything-you-can-do adaptation of a Vivaldi aria for rival divo/a/s. One BBC Messageboard contributor even thought that Jaroussky and Lemieux were giving us a Kenneth and Hattie after all that refinement and passion.
Anyway, the Proms are nearly over for the year but the Arts Desk has barely begun. That I hope nourishing source of thought and feeling, which has given me free rein to dip into theatre, ballet, cinema and TV as well as my familiar stamping grounds, celebrates its first birthday today. I'm a little younger than that in TAD terms, but I feel old in contributions. Here's to hoping it continues to take off and finally earn us a crust or two as well as the sheer, sometimes indulgent pleasure of culture-vulturing at length.
Oh - and happy Rosh Hashanah, too!