Sat 28 May 2011 - LSO Discovery Family Concert
When I asked my 9 (10 yesterday!) granddaughter her opinion of the day...huge grin and both thumbs up (not carrying her violin at the time). That just about sums up the family opinion.
The morning session of artwork was an unexpected bonus and the 'Carmen' session very very good and excellently lead. What could have been a little intimidating for some was not in the slightest.
The lunchtime practice for her was also very beneficial. Her relatively early learning stage was recognised and her music (which we had downloaded earlier) was suitably simplified to her comfort level.
The opportunity of trying other instruments was also taken.
Then, the concert. An ideal balance of music, superbly presented by Paul Rissmann. The relaxed mood of the orchestra, I'm sure, helped.
Improvements? The only minor points would be the, to some, the rather persistent unrhythmic bashing of percussion in the foyer at lunchtime. Could that have been in a more sheltered spot? And, also on the subject of percussion, some children had made 'shakers' or 'rattlers' but there was no opportunity during the concert for them to join in. Some of those with them were a bit audibly fidgety. I'm far from being anti-percussion but there's a place and time(ing).
Driving down from Norwich especially having prepaid for parking was no problem. Well worth the trip, also straightforward by train.
So, yes very positive and look forward to a future Family day there.
I should also like to commend you on your pre-concert correspondence.
The plan was to aquaint our grandaughter Emily with the orchestra and how it works as she started clarinette lessons about 6 months ago. We came up to the morning workshops although she is quite shy about playing in public - she really enjoyed the improvisation, the second art session was a bonus which I didn't expect. We had lunch then the concert which was a lot of fun. Everyone was very friendly and helpful Emily (and we)enjoyed it so much she wants to see you all again and so do we.
Probably see you all in October!
Corinna Klimek (translation from a blog in German. Read the original)
There are people who say I would inflate around children my nose and snorting like an old dragon. All lies! After all, I went voluntarily to a children's concert, yeah. And it was fun.
Heart of this concert is the piece known as audience participation piece, for which one could download the music before the concert . This enabled the young musicians to practice at home. From 90 minutes before the concert, then there was a room available, in which the children were rehearsing with two adults the piece again. There was much to discover, several very small violins and an eight year old, who played trumpet super. In addition, the children could also try out various instruments and could do handicrafts.
At the beginning some children sat among the musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra, maybe they were relatives of the players. The first piece was an arrangement of the title theme from "The Incredibles" and therefore unknown to me. But already the second piece, Brahms Hungarian Dance. 5, I had often heard. This is where the excellent presentation by Paul Rissman began, where the children had to answer questions about the pieces and the adults could learn something as well. Or you would have known that in the said piece the speed changes 17 times? I did not.
The concert continued with Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bizet before the audience participation piece. Who had brought an instrument, played along, who had not, sung. Great fun it was for young and old. So you can get kids excited about classical music. A very successful event, which low admission charges (Adults 9 €, children half price) made it really a family one.
This was a particularly good one. As always great music choice but your presenter was brilliant and the concert was very interactive. We can't wait to come to the next one.
My chilren aged 4 and 7 loved the Sound Detectives concert! My husband and I were entertained just as much. It was so good for them to learn about the composers and the orchestra and the presenter was outstanding!
We hope to come to more of performances of this kind in the future.
We brought our granddaughters aged nearly 10 and nearly 8 and they very much enjoyed it. So we were delighted.
We all really enjoyed the event. We will probably come to the next one in October. In which case it will be 11 of us.
Viv Davies and family
Loved the last concert, presenter fantastic! Lots of music and not too much chat or complicated explanation / deconstruction of pieces which can sometimes get in the way of shortish concert. Ultimately most effective use of concert for kids hearing great music played by full orchestra! And some good jokes! Great to mix old favourites we live hearing such as bond theme with thrilling carmen. Can he do the next one please?!
My grandson (aged 9) and I enjoyed last Saturday's concert very much, especially as there was a lot of participation by the children in the audience. My only criticism, and also that of my grandson, is that when the children were asked to play their instruments they couldn't be heard as the rest of the audience had been asked to sing at the same time. It might have been an idea to ask the children with instruments to play the Meerkat song once and then the rest of the audience to join them with the singing.
I think that Paul Rissman is an excellent presenter.
Lastly, I have been bringing my various grandchildren to these family concerts for the past 10 years and we have found them to be very educational and enjoyable. Carry on the good work!
We’ve been attending the LSO family concerts for about 2 years now and have to say that last weekend’s was fantastic and probably the best we’ve been too. The pieces of music were familiar, fun and all quite short which the whole event very accessible. Also, the kids loved all the audience participation bits, particularly as Paul positioned it as children vs. grown ups. I think all the concerts are great events , which is why we always attend them and book tickets months in advance, but this one stood out and my children and friends’ children all agreed it was the best so far. Thank you!
Thu 26 May & Thu 2 Jun 2011 - Sir Colin Davis/Mitsuko Uchida
Great concert last night but again marred by the timing
Is it beyond the powers that be, that the can never get the timing correct
The programme stated the evening would finish at 9.35 approx, so one would think that within
5 maybe 10 minutes one could arrange for ordering taxi to get me home (essential as I am disabled)
But yet again my taxi sat outside for nearly 30 minutes as the performance did not finish till 10.00pm
The cost of having a car waiting outside is prohibitive, and means that I have to curtail my concert visits.
As there were no encores the timing should be far more accurate that an present, perhaps re-introducing
the time of each piece of music at the right hand margin on the programme may help.
Thu 12 & Sun 15 May 2011 - Valery Gergiev/Yefim Bronfman/Philip Cobb
Margareta Callersten Brunell
Thank you for a wonderful concert, we did enjoy Thursday´s concert 12th May with Valery Gergiev, Yefim Bronfman, Philip Cobb and LSO. And thank you for sending us some reviews.
We went to London from Sweden just for the concert, after having seen Gergiev on TV in March. It was really worth the trip there, and we had some nice days besides the concert.
As so often, an LSO Principal steals the show. This time Philip Cobb's trumpet playing which was breathtaking for this listener. One grouse: why is it not possible to have soloists who have learnt the score? A page turner was distracting and surely unnecessary for the experienced soloist.
Doria van Dellen
Thank you so much for sending the reviews! I used to trawl through the internet, looking at all the sites to find the reviews--so much easier now!
I listened to a world class performance of Russian music last night--Valery Gegiev, LSO and wonderful soloists. Thank you very much. The only negative part was the 4 ladies in the Orchestra wearing reflecting glitter on their dresses, which was very distracting and spoilt my enjoyment a little.
Nevertheless, it was a terrific night.
Thu 5 May 2011 - François-Xavier Roth/Wayne Marshall/Neil Percy/Tim Garland
We had a brilliant time at the concert on the 5th May (Gershwin etc). I took 38 boys ranging from the ages of 14-16 from Finchley Catholic High School and they loved it. I was so surprised at how engaged and well behaved they all were throughout the performances and they really respected the people around them. I was absolutely blown away by the brass section that night, what a talented bunch they are. The percussion section and Neil were incredible. The boys thought Wayne Marshall was fabulous and really enjoyed his impro sections during the Gershwin piece. Instead of writing a review of the concert myself, I decided to ask all of the boys to write a review for their homework. I will send the best ones in for you.
Thank you for a wonderful evening and I look froward to arranging more trips in the future.
For me, this was a concert of marked highs and lows, although not in the way I had anticipated.
The main attractions in the programme were the two Gershwin pieces in the first half, and I was also intrigued what the new Concerto would be like. (I'm afraid I find it hard to warm to Copland's music, although the LSO did give a wonderfully descriptive account of the story of Billy the Kid in the suite from the ballet.)
Curiously, despite Neil Percy and the composer leading an enjoyable performance of Tim Garland's new concerto, my lasting memory of it was the 'wood block' which - having remained silent for the first two movements - maintained the pulse through the third movement 'Click Track.' Although the pieces are quite different, the wood block's insistent rhythm brought to mind John Adams' 'Short ride in a fast machine' - a piece which, incidentally, I am very fond of.
However, the contrast between the highs and lows I referred to came, unexpectedly, between the performances of Gershwin's 'Cuban Overture' and the 'Rhapsody in Blue'.
The percussion and brass sections led the way with aplomb in a toe-tapping, hip-swaying rendition of the 'Cuban Overture', full of energy and sparkle. What a splendid opener for a concert this was!
Sadly, though, the extended passages of improvisation Wayne Marshall chose to add to the 'Rhapsody in Blue' had pretty much the opposite effect - sucking most of the energy and life out of the piece. I felt this was a real pity, because the high standard of the LSO's planing, and Francis-Xavier Roth's direction, suggested this could otherwise have been a really enjoyable performance to follow the Overture.
Hopefully, however, the LSO will programme the 'Rhapsody' again before too long, and this time the soloist will stick more faithfully to the score!
Thank you very much for this email. What a brilliant idea to send these reviews! I was very happy to read them and I can tell you that we really enjoyed the concert.