Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 21 October 2013

Well that tells me

Sometimes we think that all the world is a critic, every so often though there really are some critics about, there certainly was at least one at last night's concert. Now generally I would have to say that it is a very good write up, a nice review of the concert and the performance. A little brief but none the worse for that, OK so one or two of the attempts at humour fall a little short but we all have that every now and then.

But just in case I ever had fooled myself that maybe I do pass, I am now shot down in flames. Needless to say the program just lists our names, not our sexuality or our gender identification, so I suppose I must have been obvious. Of course it is difficult not to be obvious wearing four inch heels and a short, clingy little black dress while carrying a bass trombone, so maybe I should forgive him, but it does grate a little.

I love live music of all kinds - so it was a real thrill for me to go and see ( and hear ) The London Gay Symphony Orchestra for the first time . I had no idea we had an all gay orchestra but apparently it's been around since 1996 - and plays at least five concerts a year - in London , Brighton and beyond !

This evening's offering in the beautiful St Sepulchre Church - E.C.1 was stunning and spectacular - with it's marble pillars , union flags and huge golden organ ( no pun intended).Four pieces were all played with great skill and sensitivity .

It was a full house of proud parents ,over excited partners and loyal friends and followers - and we weren't disappointed. One moment of merriment at the very beginning was when the big bad double bassist rushed in somewhat late and tried to set up unnoticed with his large instrument - no pun intended again !

AVRO PART's Cantus in Memorium Benjamin Britten started the programme - after a somewhat hesitant start the orchestra gained momentum and with some passionate conducting from Christopher Braime it served well as a warm-up and an indication of things to come .

BRITTEN's Sinfonia da Requiem proved more successful - after strident drums , bold brass and angry strings made way for a more reflective , moody and peaceful conclusion . Our conductor worked himself up into a sweat and certainly deserved the interval refreshments - wine and water were on offer . A very generous drop of red for £ 2 made me smile and I think helped oil the orchestra and the audience for a triumphant second half .

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto with soloist Amanda Lake certainly transported us away from the city to a place of great musicality . Ms Lake played with utter precision and gutsy conviction- firmly rooted in the dark earthy sections and then danced light and airily for the rest . Great to see the music 'take over' the performer and her offering was very well received with thunderous applause and a lovely bunch of flowers to boot . Again our conductor drove the orchestra home whilst sympathetically echoing with some playful plucking and fun filled fingering - no pun intended.

Our final piece was a true favourite ; BRITTEN's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra . Narrator Petroc Trelawney immediately set the tone with a real sense of fun and each section when mentioned; strings , brass , woodwind and percussion all shone and obviously enjoyed themselves - so we did too . Lots of subdued laughter when THE WHIP was demonstrated and one couldn't help feeling there was a hidden agenda for some of the gay clientele.

You could hear a pin drop throughout - there was no annoying coughing or spluttering and people sat still - so each silence and subtle nuance really hit home. A superb evening of splendid entertainment which launched the 2013/14 Season - the next concert being Sunday Dec 15th a Christmas Concert featuring Delius Sleigh Ride , Prokofiev Lietenant Kije and Tchaikovsky Symphony No 1. A Christmas treat well worth a visit .

There were gays and lesbians of all shapes and sizes and even a transgendered trombonist to add to the mix . In gay slang 'polari ' it was BONA to VARDER the DOLLY OLD EEKS ( good to see so many friendly faces )!.

Conductor ; Christopher Braime
Soloist ; Amanda Lake
Narrator ; Petroc Trelawney
Leader; David Wallace

This was and is my first music review and I look forward to many more.

The review is by Philip Herbert on and can be read here. Oh and by teh way some of the Orchestra are Straight!
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