13 December 2013
I took Andrew on a date tonight to the Usher Hall. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra was playing Brahms with Nicola Benedetti on violin, and Leonard Elschenbroich on the cello. I like the synopsis on the Usher Hall program:
Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales
Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello
Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier (CONDUCTOR)
Nicola Benedetti (VIOLIN)
Leonard Elschenbroich (CELLO)
Brahms wasn’t sure how to write a concerto for cello, so he gave it a chaperone and wrote a concerto for cello and violin instead. It’s gorgeous – and when the players in question are Leonard Elschenbroich and the incomparable Nicola Benedetti, trust us: you’ll be charmed out of your seat. Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts this glowing heart of a concert that starts with Ravel taking to the dancefloor, and ends as Lutosławski fills the sky with orchestral fireworks.
Andrew loved the Lutosławski. All he wanted was some cymbals to end the night, and he certainly got them. I was quite captivated by Nicola Benedetti, as well as Yan Pascal Tortelier — I haven’t seen a conductor dance with his orchestra’s music in quite a while. It was graceful and contemplative, and really moving. We had some great seats, gifted by friends I sing with at St. Giles who couldn’t make it to the concert, at the very top and very back of the hall — right up against the back wall, almost at the ceiling. I loved it.
When I was younger, I wanted to play the cello. Now, I wish I had played the violin. Or almost any instrument, because I retroactively miss the discipline of practicing something so passionately, and seeing such beautiful results.
I know it’s not like I can’t reproduce that effort in my life now. Sometimes I think I just don’t know where to start.