Friday was Classical Extravaganza
Saturday was then the turn of Handel Remixed :)
When I was in Prague in mid-August I had received an e-mail from the Barbican about freeb tickets available for Handel Remixed. I had asked Michael if he would be interested in it…seeing me a bit excited I guess he had agreed (though he definitely was not too over-the-moon about it). So yesterday evening saw us making our way to the Barbican to pick up the tickets (you have to pick them up 1hr before the show). After picking up the tickets we then sat down for a brownie and a yoghurt treat, before making our way into the theatre.
The music started…
First song over…
Michael says: WOW…this is good!
YIPPPEEE! I was impressed as soon as they started…but to see Michael excite about it as well was brilliant! (This has now meant that today we have booked seats for another three shows at the Barbican on the freeb scheme…freeb is a scheme for 16-26yo where they can get two tickets for certain shows for free :)).
Handel Remixed was a show to commemorate the 250th anniversary from Handel’s death. It included some of Handel’s original pieces, together with a number of reworked pieces by today’s composers who drew their inspiration from Handel’s work. I loved Handel’s work…it is complex in its simplicity, and makes me feel like I am in some royal court at his time…it gives me a sense of freedom and relaxation. The reworked works were also mostly great (though not as great as Handel’s in my eyes ;)). I liked that in the programme we had an explanation of the inspiration behind the pieces. It allowed me to follow through and really appreciate what the composers were going for. It was also good to see the composer (sans Handel :P) in the Hall and to be able to ‘congratulate’ them with applause after their piece was played.
But what about the other protagonists who were delighting us? The orchestra was the Academy of St. Martin’s in the Field, who were joined by David Daniels as a counter tenor. I had never heard of or a countertenor. I wasn’t too impressed at first as the voice did not fill the hall as I usually expect, but the quality of the singing was superb! I liked his little mannerisms, which were not over the top (as could be said for the singer at the Classical extravaganza the day before ;))…they were just right!
Another comparison that could be made about the two shows was the venue. The Tower Festival is an outdoor festival…the venue reminded me for some reason of Italian outdoor festivals we see on tv (maybe because I mainly observed the concert on a tv screen?) Also, the sound was mainly projected over the sound system, which does not give it the best quality. but yesterday? WOW! The venue is gorgeous, all in wood and beautifully set. Also, the sound comes out so well! That was one of the first things Michael commented on. I love-love-loved it! Have already been to another show there, and now am looking forward to the next ones! Bring them on :D