Saturday, 19 June 2010

Ulster Hall Concert

I attended my first concert in several months last night, at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. It was a BBC Invitation Concert with the Ulster Orchestra. The conductor, Courtney Lewis, and the soloist, Cathal Breslin, were both born in Northern Ireland.

The Hall was about 90% full. I handed my e-ticket in as I walked past and up the stairs; then realized that I hadn't received a programme, so I reserved my seat and ran downstairs. There was a big girl standing with programmes at the foyer counter, propping it up - or so it seemed. I thought that she could have lost a few calories and gained a modicum of exercise, had she plodded over to the people arriving and handed out her programmes instead of nonchalantly chatting to a colleague.

The layout of the orchestra was different last night, the cellists now directly opposite the conductor; while the double bassists were separated, several to the left of the conductor and a few to the right. Bandanna Man, the fiddler, has relocated to the right of the conductor, too.

The programme consisted of Brahms' Tragic Overture, Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto and Beethoven's 4th Symphony.

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