I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the TMS cricket match in the summer and that got me onto the BBC mailing list. I’ve been to The Royal Festival Hall a few times and liked the look of this offering. I was with my friend Sheila when I found it and we booked tickets.
One thing I’ve learnt about performances at the RFH is that they’re highly accessible, every single performance has affordable tickets. And my feeling is that you’re there to listen, rather than see, if that makes sense, the acoustics are amazing so I’m sure there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
This was a performance with a difference, not only did we have the wonderful BBC Concert Orchestra, with Conductor Keith Lockhart, but also Maria Friedman and her husband Adrian Der Gregorian who sang a number of songs.
This was the first time the married couple had sung together, they were clearly a double act, and the programme was full of said double acts. We had a mix of old and new, or more recent anyway.
The orchestra started with Hector Berlioz’s Beatrice and Benedict. There really is nothing to compare to the sound of a live orchestra, it literally makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. This orchestra had a couple of differences which really enhanced the experience, a Harp, it was fascinating to watch the lady playing it, and saxophones, which really do have a lovely sound.
I’m going to list the rest of the programme to give a full idea of the delights we experienced.
Irving Berlin – Annie Get Your Gun – Anything You Can Do, The Girl That I Marry, I Got Lost in His Arms, I Got Lost in His Arms, They Say it’s Wonderful.
Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky – Fantasy Overture, “Romeo and Juliet’
David Arnold/Michael Price – Sherlock Suite, main theme
Stephen Sondheim – Sweeney Todd – A Little Priest
Gary Carpenter – Fred & Ginger
Frederick Loewe – Gigi – I Remember It Well
Frank Loesser – Guys & Dolls – Sue Me
John Williams – Memoirs of A Geisha – Sayuri’s Theme
Max Steiner – Casablanca – suite
George Gershwin – They Can’t Take That Away From Me, The Man I Love, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.
Cole Porter – Anything Goes
The whole evening was wonderful, to have a married couple performing these songs was great, they were both outstanding! Voices I could listen to for hours.
If you’ve never been to watch a live orchestra get booked for the Royal Festival Hall it’s a special experience.