• He played a trick on us

    11 Dec 2010, 10:55 by Eyoki

    Tue 7 Dec – Philharmonia Orchestra, Håkan Hardenberger:

    The concert started with the Philharmonia playing Beethoven but it was Håkan Hardenberger most of us had come to see - those of us who had come that is: it seemed the snow had kept a lot of people at home.

    The great man arrived on stage for the second piece, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto (which was strangely disappointing) and then announced (i can't remember whether he did this before or after the Haydn) that he and conductor Andriss Nelson had 'played a little trick' on us: in place of the cancelled Gruber trumpet piece he had been supposed to perform in the 'pre-concert' he was going to perform a different one ("Three MOB Pieces") in the main concert. I guess it's one way of getting people to listen to a contemporary composer and it was very good. I enjoyed listening to the contrasting sounds of the three types of trumpet which were required. Nevertheless, i was still disappointed i hadn't got to hear the "Exposed Throat".
  • A disappointing absence

    11 Dec 2010, 10:36 by Eyoki

    Tue 7 Dec – A Portrait of H.K. Gruber:

    I think some of the people at this 'pre-concert' had gone along for the chance to hear the trumpet virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger play for free and weren't really fans of contemporary Classical music as such. These audience members must have been particularly disappointed when it was announced that Hardenberger wouldn't be appearing after all (to play Gruber's "Exposed Throat") due to "scheduling commitments" and one person at least walked out part way through (though of course it may not have been because he didn't like the music).

    Even if you were a fan of contemporary music Hardenberger's absence was a bit of blow but it was still an interesting event. Rather than have the Philharmonia musicians play the remaining piece on the programme ("Zeitfluren" or in English "Timescapes") straight through, we first had an on-stage interview with the composer H.K. …
  • Incandescent beauty

    3 Oct 2010, 01:35 by Eyoki

    Sat 2 Oct – Håkan Hardenberger, Roland Pöntinen:

    This was an evening i won't forget in a hurry. The trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger was fantastically, ridiculously good, making music of incandescent beauty. His accompanist Roland Pöntinen was also brilliant.

    Highlights included a number by Astor Piazolla, a trumpet sonata by Hindemith and the encore which was apparently an improvisation based on a tune called "Chanting" by Ornette Coleman.