Sunday, October 27, 2013

Attending a Melbourne Symphony Orhcestra Concert

No, I haven't gone all posh and arty on you. The performance was at Southern Cross Station, or Spencer Street as people my age prefer to call it. The MSO played the same Beethoven 30 second piece over and over and over again, for a couple of hours. Boring? Not at all, as each time there was a different conductor.

The great unwashed lined up to conduct the orchestra and some were absolutely fantastic. The volume of applause was more connected to visual performance of the conductor, rather than his or or her skill with the baton.

Not known to me, but the better half of Anthony Malloy dot com was also in the audience.

I stood on the steps for a while, viewing from a bit above, but I then got down in the mosh pit among the crowd. Top marks to the station staff who allowed people to stand on one side of the stairs while keeping the rest free for train travellers.

It was an absolute hoot and I could not help grinning, laughing and feeling very happy. Thanks MSO.

Here are some photos of the orchestra, the guest conductors and a video of one conductor. Men with blue hair are usually outgoing.


'Tis a lass with the baton.
 

Not much in the way of flourishes, but she had a go.


I know pianissimo,  but for a minute or so I was puzzled about feelitsmo. Feel it MSO. Get it?
 

She was a good laugh.
 

He was really good, and I think came back for a second crack.

I missed a couple of seconds at the beginning. This bloke was quite accomplished. I must say, after half an hour or so, I was heartily sick of the same piece of music.




29 comments:

  1. How did the conductors get to be involved and did you have a turn?

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    1. I did not Victor. I let others make fools of themselves. I think the conductors just fronted up in a queue.

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    2. If there was a queue it must have been rigged just a little bit: otherwise how come Barney Swartz of The Age (your last pic) and Stuart Skelton - SEE https://twitter.com/search?q=%23feelitmso&src=hash - you possibly recognised others.

      A bit like Benjamin Law turning up as "Ben from Sydney" as an audience question-asker at the love-in between Anne Summers and Julia Gillard (plus about 2,000 other women) at the Sydney Opera House a few weeks back.

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    3. Marcellous, you overestimate me. I can do little more than sing along to Vivaldi's Four Seasons and the Roller Door song. I did not know any of the conductors, but I am only slightly dim. I did recognise some were proper conductors and if you mean the last photo, which is actually a video, is professional, that does not surprise me as I noted the way he brought the horns in to quite good effect.

      I thought you meant the kid who asked the question about gay marriage. I did not know Ben Law was at the Sydney one. I can't say it is wrong unless he pretended he was joe public. As you say, it was a love in. So what did Law ask?

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    4. The last fellow is Barney Swartz, religion correspondent for The Age who also in these straightened times also does a bit of arts journalism. The video was on their website first.

      As to Benjamin Law, I went back and checked. He pops up about 45 minutes in and he asked (1) Shorten or Albanese? and (2) who Julia would think might be a good next female leader of the Labor party.

      (Answers were: (1) no comment and (2) indirectly, Tanya Plibersek.)

      He didn't actually pretend he was Joe Public but the format of the show represented that, as you say, the questioners simply lined up That is what I am not convinced of.

      Even if BL did just line up, I think media professionals should leave that sort of Q&A to others.

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    5. Ok, no surprise I didn't know who he is. The video is actually mine. It was a co-incidence that I filmed him too. I agree, Ben needed to be identified by more than Ben of Sydney. Hmm, I thought he lived in Queensland. Maybe he just grew up there.

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    6. Sorry Andrew I didn't check that the video was the same as the one on the Age website - I just knew that Zwartz did one!

      Perhaps BL has moved: according to his first book he grew up in Brisbane. On the JG/AS show he introduced himself as Benjamin "and I'm based in Sydney."

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  2. Looked really interesting. Unfortunately there were no sign of the orchestra when I was at SC yesterday.

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    1. No AdRad. A one off I expect. Just diesel fumes for you to enjoy.

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  3. That would have been fun could anyone do it.
    Merle............

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    1. I think so Merle. Some clearly had experience, but many did not.

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  4. Sounds like a hoot......good on the MSO! i am never up that end of the city, alas, and would have missed it.

    Just as an aside, it would be fine to go all posh and arty on us :)

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    1. No Hels, I'll just stick with vaudeville and music hall for now.

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  5. Sounds like great fun. A pity they didn't have a variety of pieces to play though if only for the orchestra's sanity.

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    1. Fun60, I am undecided on the merits of only playing one piece. At times it did sound different as different conductors performed. It was interesting to compare the differences.

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  6. I love orchestras and am always fascinated by conductors. I got to meet my fave conductor - Ben Foster, last year. What a buzz.

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    1. I had to google him Fen. Interesting.

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  7. What fun, although 30 minutes of the same would be more than enough. I'd be hopeless, I'd spread my arms wide and shout "play!" and let them have at it.

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    1. River, I think many just moved the baton in time with the music, rather than setting the tempo or whatever. It was fun.

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  8. What a great idea (although I would have tired of the same tune in that time). But I'm hugely relieved you haven't gone "all posh and arty" on us,.

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    1. Mitchell, I only touch the sides of posh and arty, as I do in most things in my life.

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  9. What a great initiative. Sounds like fun (for a little while). I would have liked to have seen that.

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    1. Jackie, I think it was an effective promotion by the MSO.

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  10. I have always wanted to attend an orchestra concert but have never had the privilege to. I am putting this on my 2014 to-do-list!!

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    1. Keith, make sure you choose the right concert with music you like.

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  11. I only hung out for a couple goes, you were good to last out half an hour of the same piece!

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    1. Rae, amazing that the orchestra members kept smiling for so long. I am sure they will never want to play that piece again.

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  12. The video made me laugh Andrew..accomplished you say..he looked like he was either going to take off or lay an egg, more likely the later as it would take much more energetic flapping to raise himself off the ground :))

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    1. Grace, it is funny watching an energetic conductor on tv with the sound off.

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