Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Nigel Kennedy Review

On Sunday night I went to the Perth Concert Hall to see Nigel Kennedy performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton, as part of the Perth Festival of the Arts.

My initial thought was just the fact that I was going to see a world famous Violinist who, as I later found out, likes to swear a lot. I was also looking forward to seeing the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra after listening to them on the radio and watching them on the BBC my living room of course. I knew they would be good, but I didn't realise that they would sound as amazing as they did!

They performed was Johannes Brahm's Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77.

· Allegro non troppo

· Adagio

· Allegro gioscoso, man non troppo vivace

To be honest, there was so much in the concerto that it's hard to pick out specific points. But, just the way they played gave me goose bumps. I was sat in my seat grinning like I was on one massive high. That's how the whole thing made me feel, completely high.

As Nigel Kennedy walked on. My mum immediately commented on his peculiar attire. I thought he looked like some kind of mash up between a pirate and a middle aged disco fanatic. When he started to play I immediately forgot about what he was wearing. His playing was beautiful. It was so amazing. Just...the way he played the violin, just thinking about it, as you can probably tell renders me absolutely speechless. With the orchestra accompanying him, the sound reverberated around the concert hall. It sounded as if they were one, not a hundred different instruments, but one whole instrument playing together. And when they stopped, I think the audience clapped for about five minutes.

Then, Nigel was called back as an encore. He looked at us all and asked, "Fast or slow?"

The audience immediately shouted, "Fast!"

To which he replied, "Don't be so immature!" before beginning to play a Scottish jig, which as we asked for, was played faster and faster. Once he had finished the piece he said to the audience,

"Now for the f****** cultural s***!"

While I sniggered to myself, Nigel started to play this slow, peaceful, beautiful tune involving a lot of double stopping. I think of Nigel as two different people, there's Nigel the ordinary guy with an extraordinary dress sense, the guy who's kind of the 'joker' and then there's Nigel the violinist who can play pieces with such sensitivity and passion it can bring people to tears.

After the twenty-minute break the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra took to the stage again (minus Nigel) to perform Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 in B Minor 'Pathetique'.

· Adagio - Allegro non troppo

· Allegro con grazia

· Allegro molto vivace

· Adagio lamentoso

The beginning of the first piece features the mournful tones of the bassoon, accompanied delicately by the string section. When the piece picked up momentum and volume I felt the drama attached to the notes, but also the sense that the piece was carrying a kind of sadness. I thought the next movement was quite quirky, and much more uplifting than the last movement. As the piece goes on it seems to become more and more cheerful. The brass in this movement is bright and playful as are the violins. The third movement has more power than the previous two and much more speed. It makes for an exciting listen. I found it much more entertaining to listen to, and the Philharmonic Orchestra played it to perfection. The last movement I found wasn't quite to my taste; I guess I go in for the more exciting pieces (I am a teenage boy). But I do give my credit to the orchestra because they were absolutely fabulous and probably the best orchestra I have ever heard playing. In all I thoroughly enjoyed the orchestra and Nigel Kennedy and would be happy to see them again some time...hopefully. Ten out of ten!

En plus (oui, I kind of speak French) because I am waaaay slyer than Miss B, (and because my mum told me to) I went back stage to go see Nigel. And guess what I got!

Granted the picture is pretty bad, sorry 'bout that folks :P