||[Aug. 1st, 2003|11:09 am]
|||||Wishing I had digital so I could have the prom on BBC4
|||||Prom 18 on Radio 3 - Beethoven Symphony #3||]|
You know you are onto a good thing when the cost of the ticket for an event plus the cost of the interval drink comes to less than the bus fair to get there.... (or you're going to a concert that's too far away, I suppose!)
Last weekend, or last Saturday to be precise, I meandered down to London with Hilary to watch Prom #12, and managed to meet up with Dom while we were there.
As an added bonus, we got to London early (it's amazing how much faster the Oxford tube is when you get on it on the far side of Headington, rather than in the centre of town), so popped into the V&A museum while we were there (it's about 200m from the Albert Hall, for those of you with poor London geography). The V&A is quite a strange place - a large number of somewhat overlapping levels, and a very wide range of things in it. We only had about 30 minutes in there, but managed to see some ornate little chests for keeping trinkets in, some Raphiel cartoons (giant, giant paintings done to be cut up and used as a guide for making tapestries with), some 60s and 70s fashon, and a few musical instruments. I'd like to go back there to see more, but there are a few museums that are higher on my return to list (British and Natural History).
So, having paid a brief visit to the V&A, it was round the corner to the Albert Hall, to queue up in the rain. With the proms, there are about 500 tickets available on the night, every night, which go on sale an hour or so before the start of the concert. Holders of these tickets are called "prommers". There are two places you can be with these tickets, in the areana (down in the centre, in front of the Orchestra) or the Gallery (right up at the top, looking down over everything). I think the areana is better, having done both a few times, as does Dom, so we opted for the areana.
We had to queue about 15 minutes, and then they came out and sold us tickets (a consession to the rain, normally they wait until you go in to sell them), at an amazing 4 pounds! Tickets in hand, we waited a bit more, then went in and got a decent spot near the front. After a 30 minute wait (during which we read the notes on the prom on the BBC website, thanks to Dom's palm), the concert started.
If you hadn't guessed, the one bad thing about promming is the waiting. The alternatives are to pay buckets of cash for a seat (which we've done for a later prom), or buy a season ticket. Season tickets get you into every single prom of the season (or half of them, if you get a half season pass), and you can just rock up a bit before and go in (the earlier you get there, the better the spot you get). If only I was in London, and had time....
The prom itself was excellent. We had the London premiere of a new orchestral piece by Colin Matthews, the only complaint with which was that it was too short! As soon as you got into it, it was over. Hopefully he'll put it together with some other works, and we'll get to hear that sooner or later. Then followed "Les nuits d'été" by Berlioz, which is a collection of pieces for Orchestra and soprano. This was truely excellent, even if I couldn't understand the french! Finally, after the interval was Elgar's symphony number 1 in A flat. I knew a few parts of it, and it was nice to hear how they all fitted in. Might have to get myself a copy of both of these as soon as I have some money (the subject of another post....)
After the prom, we treked through the rain to an italian in South Ken, for a spot of dinner. Quite nice, but they really wanted us to leave at the end...
All in all, another excellent trip to the proms. It's a pity I can't go more this year (got lots on on weekends, and getting down in the week looks very tricky, especially given the work on the Cotswolds Line which would otherwise offer me easy access to London). Hopefully I'll make it to more next year
Oh, and if you haven't been before, do!