One of my favourite concert halls in London is Wigmore Hall. It is located on Wigmore Street near Bond Street tube station. The hall itself feels very intimate, thanks to its warm colour scheme of rich red velvet seats, walls decorated in marble and an exquisite mural with golden details on the Cupola. (A Cupola is a rounded dome forming or adorning a ceiling). As an audience member, the music created on the raised stage envelops your senses, allowing you to hear with sensitivity the quietest moments, and yet it allows you equally to feel an energetic thrill during louder, dramatic climaxes.
I visited Wigmore Hall on Thursday 13th January with George to take advantage of their great Under 35s Ticketing Scheme. This scheme allowed me to watch a fantastic concert performed by pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Dmitry Shishkin for only £5.00! The scheme is supported by Classic FM and aims to achieve a common goal of encouraging this age group and perhaps first-time concert goers to attend classical music concerts. I think that this ticket price is fantastic and certainly makes attending live concerts more accessible for me.
The concert itself was truly entertaining. Bavouzet and Shishkin joined forces on stage to play works arranged for two pianos. They performed pieces by Debussy, Liszt, Bartok and Ravel. A particular highlight for me, was their interpretation of Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes (Nuages, Fêtes and Sirènes). Originally this work was written to be played by an orchestra. Debussy then requested Maurice Ravel to arrange the work for two pianos, which I had the pleasure of hearing in this concert. The sound-worlds of the three movements are quite different from each other and express different scenes. It has been said that Nuages depicts a journey across one of the bridges of the Seine on a stormy day. Fetes was inspired by noisy crowds celebrating in the Bois de Boulongne, a popular spot for relaxing in west of Paris. The final movement, Sirene, in Debussy’s words,
‘depicts the sea and its countless rhythms; […] among the waves silvered by the moonlight, […] the mysterious song of the Sirens is heard’ .
I really enjoyed watching the charismatic artists craft the music whilst also having a fantastic time doing so on stage.
The concert was also streamed live by Wigmore Hall and you can still sample the experience by watching the recording of the concert that they made on the night 😊
After this experience, I am interested in finding out what would encourage you to watch a classical music concert? What elements would discourage you from this experience? I hope that through my blog and my work as a singer I can inspire you to explore more classical music.