Sticking with Dudley Moore for a while with the first three episodes in his series Concerto! in which he and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas look at a famous concerto for solo instrument and orchestra, with a full performance of the piece.
The first episode features James Galway and the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto, with Marisa Robles on the harp. It’s great fun to see Galway and Robles interacting. At first it seems like they don’t get on. Galway talks about her hands during the fast sections of the piece ‘knitting away’ and they cut to Robles. “Knitting, to my opinion is…” as she plucks badly on the strings, “…like that”. Then she plays some fast notes, beautifully of course. “Hopefully, that sounds better than knitting, I think.”
There’s a couple more times when they appear to be having a small go at one another, and you think there must be some creative tension there, until Galway mentions that they have been performing this particular piece together for over thirty years, and we realise this is the micky-taking of two very close friends who have nothing but huge respect for each other’s skills.
The next episode features Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, with Alicia de Larrocha.
And the final episode here has Saint Saens’ Cello Concerto, played by Steven Isserlis. I sort-of met Steven Isserlis backstage after a concert. Well, I accompanied my wife and her sisters and friends when they went backstage to get his autograph along with Joshua Bell’s when they performed together.
Also featured in this programme is Isserlis’ very young son Gabriel. My neice went to the Royal Academy of Music with Gabriel (when he was a bit older than this, obviously).
After this, there’s the start of a South Bank Show profile of Richard Attenborough, and I’m sad I don’t have the whole thing, as it looked interesting from the glimpse I get here.
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