Two days, two very different events - on Thursday evening there was a full house at the Barbican for Simon Rattle and the LSO. And in the Wigmore Hall yesterday afternoon there was a sparse audience for a no less remarkable an occasion - a Masterclass with François le Roux.
The LSO first - and it was not all about Rattle and the LSO. There was the spectacular Canadian singer/actor, conductor Barbara Hannigan in Berg and Ligeti - you will remember her from George Benjamin's Written on Skin at the ROH two seasons ago. And she brought the house down with Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre (seen below!) as well as bringing her insights to fragments from Wozzeck. And then Rattle and the LSO delivered the Rite of Spring. It continues to have the power to astound and even shock after 100 years. A terrific evening of the highest quality.
Yesterday was an altogether quieter but no less intense an affair. François le Roux is an old colleague from Glyndebourne days so it was a particular pleasure for me to see him again. But the real treat of the day was the inspirational guidance he gave to the four fortunate singers who exposed themselves to his unique knowledge and understanding of French mélodie. And they all did really well, having clearly prepared themselves meticulously for such an important occasion.
As I look out on Battersea Park from my desk the morning sun is golden on the bare trees against the background of some menacing grey. We are expecting some snow within the hour.