Last Saturday I went to the Saffron Hall to see the Academy of St Martin's in the Field with their director and solo Violinist Joshua Bell joined by cellist Steven Isserlis. The chance to see two top soloist was not one to pass up!
The programme started with
Dvorak - Silent Woods from the Bohemian Forest, Op 68 No 5
This is a short piece for cello. It is a lovely piece atmospheric and melancholic piece and almost has a chamber feel music to it.
The main piece of the first half was
Beethoven - Symphony No 8 in F Major
This was the only piece that didn't have a soloist to the fore and for some reason I didn't warm to this. If I'm honest this is not one of my favourites of Beethoven's symphonies.
The second half started with
Schumann - Violin Concerto mvII (Codetta by Britten)
Schumann's violin concerto is not a major part of the repetoire but the second movement (arranged here by Britten as an elegy for Dennis Brain) is an evoicative piece. I hadn't expected to see Isserlis for this but he joined the orchestra for the cello part. Amusingly there was a false start as Isserlis cello slipped. Prompting him to mutter "rude words" and the audience to chuckle. It was a lovely piece and this human error and humour and endeared him and it was a lovely piece.
The final piece was
Brahms - Double Concerto in A minor Op 102
It is not a piece I loved but it was played with moments of energy and tenderness and it received a much more rapturous response than the Beethoven and I really enjoyed it.
What was noticeable was how much fun that both soloists Bell and Isserlis as well as the orchestra seemed to be having.
It was yet another excellent evening at Saffron Hall.