Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Almost eleven hundred days...

Playlist
Shura Cherkassky - Wigmore Hall Live
City and Colour - Little Hell
Neal Morse - The Grand Experiment (2)
Max Richter - Retrospective (2) Songs From Before
Max Richter - Retrospective (1) The Blue Notebooks
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer 2014
Neal Morse - Songs From November
Pink Floyd - The Endless River
Joseph Arthur - Lou
Škampa Quartet - Wigmore Hall Live
UK - UK Final World Tour 2015

Snow this morning...






It's three years today since the last Cloudland Blue Quartet gig...

I wonder if there will ever be another...

By this evening, the snow had gone and we were warmed by a very tasty Green Thai Chicken Curry...

In other news, I have become hooked by "Holby City"...

Lights out...

Highlight of the Day : Anne's curry...

Monday, March 02, 2015

Dishoom and Ginastera...

Playlist
Asia - Gravitas
This Will Destroy You - Another Language
Max Richter - Retrospective (2) Songs From Before
Flying Colors - Second Nature
Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence
Bend Sinister - Animals
Neal Morse - Songs From November
Snow Shards - Blind
Peter Hammill - ...All That Might Have Been... CD2
GoGo Penguin - Fanfares
Bach, J S - Die Kunst der Fuge
Mendelssohn - Mendelssohn Streichquartette
Ginastera - Complete String Quartets
UK - Kawasaki, Japan 08-11-2013
Lee "Scratch" Perry - Arkology
Shura Cherkassky - Wigmore Hall Live

Up, packed and out just after nine...


...taking a walk behind King's Cross Station...


...to the newly renovated railway buildings...


...and recently seen on TV Bombay Cafe, Dishoom...


...for freshly squeezed juices...


...and breakfast naans...


A gorgeous start to the day...

A walk around the environs...








...and back to King's Cross for a Tube down to Covent Garden...


It was freezing - not the best weather for two lurgi infested music lovers...


A quick coffee at Monmouth heated us up...


...before catching a trio of trains to London City Airport...


...for the trip home...


It looked like we might be cutting it fine but it turned out we had plenty of time - even enough to take care of my being stopped and searched at security...


Away, once again the propeller based mode of transport being buffeted by strong winds as we ascended...




Snow in the borders...




...but Edinburgh looked clear...


Landed without a problem and onto the airport bus and up the hill to home...

The Exec Producer was whacked but I made it out this evening to our planned fourth quartet recital at the Queens Hall...


A two year old Venezuelan quartet provided the music this evening...


...the very talented Cuarteto Libartadores...


The programme comprised works by J S Bach (Contrapunctus 1 from The Art of the Fugue), Mendelssohn (String Quartet in A Minor Op13) and Ginastera's 1st String Quartet...

They had to start the 2nd movement of the Ginastera three times, due to wayward tuning of, firstly, the viola then the cello...

Somehow, it made it all the more enjoyable...


Two encores were elicited by the audience, the first by Chic Corea and the second, an unknown to your correspondent jazz piece...


Another great night of quartetting...


...sad the series has ended and a shame the EP could not make it along this evening - I have a feeling she would have very much enjoyed the work of these four young men from South America...

A drive home through the snow...

To bed - very tired after a busy weekend and with the lurgi still clinging on...

Highlight of the Day : Dishoom and Ginastera...

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Virtuosity to the nth degree...

Playlist
Cheryl - Only Human
Glasperlenspiel - Grenzenlos In Diesem Moment
Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Boris Blank - Avant Garden
Enchant - The Great Divide
Van Der Graaf Generator - Merlin Atmos Live Performances 2013
And One - Propeller
Marco Minnemann - EEPS
And One - Magnet
Dieter Meier - Out Of Chaos
The Samuel Jackson Five - Seasons in the Hum
Bryan Ferry - Avonmore
Farin Urlaub Racing Team - Faszination Weltraum
Hammock - The Sleepover Series Volume Two
Neal Morse - The Grand Experiment
Max Richter - Retrospective (3) 24 Postcards in Full Colour
Yes - Heaven & Earth
Justin Rutledge - Daredevil
Marco Minnemann - EEPS
Boris Blank - Electrified
John Lemke - People Do
Substaat - Macht
Bend Sinister - Animals
Pineapple Thief - Magnolia
Asia - Gravitas

Beautiful morning...


...and breakfast at nearby Fork...

The clotted cream re my giant scone was a nice touch...



Into town and found ourselves outside Selfridges pre its Sunday opening time...



There were some interesting window displays being displayed...






Up a couple of streets to the Wigmore Hall - again, slightly early - our recital was due to start at 11:30...


...so we took a walk around the environs, including Harley Street...


...and back to the Hall..



..and inside, cough sweets at the ready...




The large "no phones" sign was of course removed for the recital itself by Italian 21 year old Van Cliburn prize winner and Wigmore Hall debutante, Beatrice Rana...


Her superb programme comprised J S Bach's Partita No.1 in B flat major BWV825, Chopin's Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor Op. 39 & Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op. 35 and Ravel's La Valse...

Finally, for her encore, she returned to Chopin, playing his Prelude in D flat major, No 15 from Preludes Op.28...

What a great way to spend a Sunday lunchtime...

Complimentary drinks downstairs from the hall followed...


...as did a couple of purchases by your correspondent from the Wigmore Hall Live selection, on display in the foyer...



We wandered down towards Trafalgar Square, noting some nice shopping and gallery opportunities on the way...






Picasso in a window...



...passed the Royal Academy of Arts...


...and through Chinatown...


...towards St Martin in the Fields...


...and into the National Portrait Gallery, enjoying the last day of their exhibition on the Tudor dynasty, topical re the recent "Wolf Hall" viewing...


...and some more "up to date" items...


We noted this Tom Phillips portrait of Brian Eno...


After some refreshments, we took the bus journey from hell (as the tube line was closed for repairs) to Fulham...


...where we took shelter from a rainstorm in a cafe, before gaining early entry to Under the Bridge for tonight's concert by Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, Alex Machacek and Virgil Donati aka UK...


At the soundcheck, we were treated to various snippets of tunes to be heard later, along with a full run through of "Caesar's Palace Blues"...


When gigging, I always find the soundcheck to be more stressful than the gig itself - even more so if the audience is already present, as was the situation here, the attendees having paid slightly extra for a VIP early entry to witness said soundcheck and have the opportunity for a meet and greet...

A long wait ensued, during which time I took some fanboy equipment pics...




Around 8:30 the quartet took to the stage and gave us a superb performance of songs from the two UK studio albums, their self titled debut from 1978 and the following year's "Danger Money"...

Solos from Jobson and Donati were slotted in alongside the lions share of the material from the two LPs...

An amazing display of musical virtuosity...


The Exec Producer has been hearing this music for years and, as it turned out, had been believing it to have been Asia, due to Wetton's vocalising...


Now she realises the error - special praise from the EP for Donati's drumming - she likes a drummer...


For the record, the setlist was as follows:-
Thirty years
Nevermore
Carrying No Cross
Alaska/Time to Kill
Eddie Jobson - Keyboard/Violin Solo
Rendezvous 6:02
Virgil Donati - Drum Solo
In the Dead of Night/By the Light of Day/Presto Vivace & Reprise
Forever Until Sunday

Encore
Caesar's Palace Blues
The Only Thing She Needs
Carrying No Cross (Finale)


All too soon of course, it was over...


..and the guys took their bows...


Just a few more gigs to go now before they finally call it a day...



Mr Wetton looked quite dapper in his waistcoat...



A standing ovation from the average age "middle aged" crowd who had travelled from around the world for this rare gig...



All over...

A couple of trains and we were back at Russell Square, enjoying a quick late night snack before heading to the apartment and hitting the sack...

An excellent day...

Highlight of the Day : UK Live for the final time...

PS My previous UK gig, back in 2012, is here...