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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall I attended a concert given by the Orchestra of the Age of enlightenment (OAE) conducted by Sir Andras Schiff, who also played the piano.

The OAE play historic instruments and the piano was a Graf pianoforte.

I spent Wednesday evening in the company of a frequent concert goer who expressed the view that he preferred the sound of a Steinway.

The programme comprised Beethoven’s Coriolanus Overture, Haydn’s Drumroll Symphony and Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto The Emperor.

In view of my friend’s critique I listened to the sound of the piano.

Much as I admired the virtuosi playing of Schiff I could only agree the sound was “plonky” and lacked the rich velvety texture and resonance of a Steinway.

My second criticism was the encore.

I am a time-conscious sort of fellow.

So if a concert is scheduled to end at 9.00pm I expect it to do so and make my plans accordingly.

In this case I was hoping to get to Waterloo in good time for the train to Wimbledon.

I therefore declined my host’s invitation to the players’ party and the opportunity to meet Sir Andras.

I am no fan of the Southbank Centre – it’s stark concrete architecture, lack of signage and a not-especially-attractive quarter of London.

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About Michael Stuart

After university, Michael spent twelve years working for MELODY MAKER before going freelance. He claims to keep doing it because it is all he knows. More Posts