In a minor mode.
Yes, I have been to hear Mahler 1, in Perth, with the WASO conducted by Paul Daniels.
This has been a sudden visit, brought on by a medical emergency (not mine, obviously). Instead of flying to China on Friday (which was my plan) I flew to Perth.
I was last here in 2005. I feel a bit like Rip van Winkle. The car hire firm I sought out in Milligan Street in the city informed me that they have moved twice since. The underpass/tunnel to nowhere under St George’s Terrace from the Perth Concert Hall is now barred shut. The sexy gay cellist of a certain age whom D rather fancied seems to have moved on (he could have been away)[afternote: still there, but a little older, as, of course, are we all].
On the other hand, some things seem to stay the same. The percussionist with poise and a talent to always be in the limelight is still there. There was no sign of John Harding, the latest concertmaster, or even, as far as I could make out, his deputy. When I looked in The West Australian on my arrival on Friday (I was internetless) in the hope of a WASO performance to catch, there was absolutely no mention anyway, in advertisements or any “what’s on” section, of the two performances on Friday and Saturday this weekend.
My guess is that, as a self-respecting monopolist, the West doesn’t give any publicity for free. Conversely, judging from the quite healthy attendance, the orchestra doesn’t feel the necessity to contribute to the paper’s rivers of gold.
Intelligently, the concert opened with the discarded movement from the symphony, Blumine, and then the Bartók (posthumously completed by another) viola concerto played by Ruth Killius. I will be missing this and her in Sydney, so this was a bit like Death and Damascus. I can’t say that I really warmed to the work. Bartók and I have a troubled relationship (though it was from the WASO that I heard a brilliant concert performance of Bluebeard’s Castle).
In other news and social technology, I see that Cosi fan tutte played tonight to a half-full house in Sydney. That’s a Saturday night. Just what is going on? I think Henry Choo is entitled to be upset about that.