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St Martin in the Fields and a night at the Proms

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 12 August 2014 | Views [283] | Comments [1]

Inside the Albert Hall

Inside the Albert Hall

The daily free lunchtime concert at St Martin in the Fields sounded a good idea to ease us into a proposed Proms musical finale to end our adventure. Expecting a concert of Beethoven and Ravel on the piano, we were surprised to see on our arrival an announcement that the concert was to be given by a Cuban guitarist. The pianist was unwell. Certain that we would enjoy it anyway we settled into some vacant front row seats while another 120 or so trickled in to the church behind us. An athletic looking suntanned young man also came to the front, unaccompanied by an usher, but with a dog on a harness. As he felt his way gingerly into a seat we realised he was absolutely and totally blind. His beautiful labrador promptly sprawled obediently at his feet, whereupon he was given a tennis ball to chew by his master. Would this man be totally unaware that he was about to hear a guitar recital I wondered?  But no, a priest welcomed us and announced the program change. The affable dog moved little during the whole concert, lying just a few feet from the performer. 

The guitarist was a very handsome young dark Cuban, elegantly bald, by the name of Ahmed Dickinson, possessing a seemingly effortless technique and a beautiful round mellow sound the like of which we had not experienced. He played all from memory, including a post modernist piece by Leo Brouwer, exploring all kinds of finger sounds and percussion we had neither seen nor heard before. I suggest you catch him on YouTube or CD if you can.

After lunch in the busy crypt cafe, we were off to Oxford Street again to complete our shopping, then on to Knightsbridge, before walking through Hyde Park and along the Serpentine to the Albert Hall for our prom concert, and the pre-concert talk at The Royal College of Music next door.

James Ehnes played the Walton violin concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who also played the glorious Sibelius 5th symphony, both favourites of ours. These works were greeted with rapturous applause by the huge audience, which prompted the violinist to give a beautifully poised and pared back rendition of a Bach solo violin Partita. However even he would have had no idea how truly fitting a way this was to conclude the Milners' Musical Adventure 2014, in the steps of JS Bach.





Hi Joan<br><br>We just caught up with the last few entries in your blog. You have heard some wonderful music and feasted on the most amazing variety of gourmet food! <br><br>It has also been a rather nostalgic trip for you. <br><br>Have a great trip home. <br><br>Love<br>Deborah Thanks Deborah for all your comments. You helped me keep going when it became a little difficult. We thought of you as we visited the beautiful church of St Martin in the Fields, with its very special significance for you.

  Deborah Munro Aug 18, 2014 5:25 PM

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