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Subject: Rattle and LSO opening night
From: E J Michel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:E J Michel <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:21:19 -0400

text/plain (61 lines)

Excellent report from opening night...

Rattle's big night

THIS IS RATTLE. The posters greet you at the main entrance, on the
programme cover, everywhere around the Barbican. And the first sound that
meets your ears is of children singing. The foyer is crammed with
opening-night concert-goers gazing up at a choir of primary-school kids on
the balcony showing off their musical skills to the manner born. It's a
great way to start the big night that marks the opening of Sir Simon
Rattle's long-awaited return to Britain as music director (yes, music
director, not chief conductor) of the London Symphony Orchestra. Explore
their website to read about the plans for innovative digital work,
outreach, British music focuses, streaming, filming and even some rather
fine concerts. These are going to be exciting times, or so one might hope.

"This is music, this is what we believe.
Music is for everybody, music is a right.
It's the air we breathe, the water we drink."
--- Sir Simon Rattle

Rattle has been on the TV, on the airwaves, in the newspapers. He only has
to sneeze for it to make the headlines, it seems. Having a household name
at the head of the LSO can only be a good thing for musical life here. And
his chosen opening night programme was something that probably no other
conductor could get away with and end up still speaking to the management:
a musical marathon of five works by British composers, four of them alive
and kicking hard, two of them present to take their bows, and among them
names of the type that in other settings sometimes strike fear and
paralysis into the hearts of potential attendees. Not so here: the crowd,
if occasionally bemused and unquestionably challenged, at worst read its
programmes and at best positively lapped up the craggy music by Helen
Grime, Thomas Ad├Ęs, Harrison Birtwistle and Oliver Knussen before relaxing
into the sunlit garden of Elgar's Enigma Variations. If there was champagne
for the musical soul of London, food for thought was never far away.

continued at

Best regards,

E J Michel
[log in to unmask]

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