Well. That’s that, then.
I bet you would like to know – how did it go?
It went well. Very well.
But that doesn’t begin to describe it. It was, undoubtedly, the most emotionally uplifting, and exhausting, couple of hours of music making I’ve ever been involved in. When you study and rehearse, and practice a piece for many hours you start think you know it, and understand it. But sometimes, when a performance takes wing, you realise you didn’t understand it at all before, because the drama, the power of the music lies somewhere beyond the notes on the page, in the experience of making it.
That’s not to say the performance was technically perfect – sure there were a few little things. But that’s not the point. The point was the immediacy, the commitment, the emotion and the drama.
The English Festival Orchestra, were terrific. The soloists were superb. The choir sang out of their skins. Really I couldn’t have asked for more.
Usually as a conductor it’s hard to let go because you’re concentrating so hard on making sure everything hangs together. But then sometimes, when you are surrounded by wonderful musicianship, you can let go and just wallow in the illusion that the music is magically coming out of your fingers, that you’re somehow playing all the instruments and singing all the parts. That’s what it felt like most of the time last night, and I found it a rather surreal, and at times almost overwhelming, experience.
I’m sorry if that description sounds rather breathless and overblown but, honestly, if you’d been standing where I was standing, you’d be feeling shellshocked too.
So yes, it went well. Very well. Thanks for asking.