Thursday, July 29, 2010

the concert

I went along to see this film last night at The Watershed with very high hopes. I’m afraid I was bitterly disappointed. The story is about a celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra who was fired at the height of his fame for refusing to sack his Jewish musicians. Twenty-five years later, he still works at the Bolshoi, but as a cleaner… he ends up (I’ll spare you the details) playing at the prestigious Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, together with a French violin virtuoso (Mélanie Laurent) to play alongside his old musicians posing as the real Bolshoi orchestra.
The publicity blurb described it as “witty, uplifting and full of humanity”. I spent over two-thirds of the time squirming in my seat by the painful, knock-about, farcical nature of the film. The evening was somewhat predictably saved when the ragtag musicians exquisitely performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major…. but I’m afraid it was all far too sugary for my liking.
Actually, the evening did reinforce a desire to go to some live classical concerts over the coming months – I’d been hugely impressed watching/listening to the BBC Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven’s First and Fourth Piano Concertos on television last weekend(?), with soloist Paul Lewis (who was quite brilliant).
PS: I’ve also been listening Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major and Bach’s Cello Suite no.1 in G Major countless times over the past week – both stunningly beautiful.

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