Filed under: the wagga blagga
Monday November 06th
Here’s hoping you weren’t amongst those who missed the London Symphony’s exhilarating performance of Shostakovich’s brilliant and remarkable Eighth Symphony at the Civic last night!
The talk all week had been whether Previn himself (who hadn’t flown from Singapore with the orchestra) would wield the baton on the night. Amazingly, this remained secret right up until the dimming of the theatre: even the program itself was silent on who would stand on the podium.
Then, picking his way towards centre stage (between the mostly assembled elements of the Civic’s forthcoming Yusuf Islam show) was the grinning Andre himself.
It took four and a half minutes or so – let’s say, for the sake of music, 4min33sec – for the delighted applause to fade. I distinctly heard a couple of members of the brass section shushing.
I’m sure the Civic has rarely been so blessed. There is no other word for Previn’s account of the Third Movement than “mesmerising”. Mravinsky himself would have wept (as did I) at the haunting power Previn drew from his cellos.
Afterwards, I was fortunate enough to join Andre and select strings players for pizza and a glass or three of the (recommended) Charles Sturt 2003 Pinot Gris. One of my best evenings since moving to Wagga Wagga. Five stars.