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Prom 38: Daniel Barenboim / West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

August 15, 2008

I feel wretched. Tonight was a big night at the Royal Albert Hall and yet I failed to consume anymore than five or six minutes of the actual concert.

I know. It’s no big deal really, is it? It happens to all of us. We all sit down in front of the TV and for one reason or another find ourselves distracted by something going on in the kitchen, the telephone ringing or an incoming SMS.

In fairness, today has been a bit of a weird day. I didn’t intend to spend most of the day working from home. I’d hoped I’d do some work in the morning and making it to west London by 11.30am. My best laid plans ended up being a complete disaster however, almost as soon as I woke up this morning.

I’ve been obsessing about some bizarre pains in my chest just recently. Am I drinking too much? Do I need to exercise more? Is day to day life getting me down just that little bit too much? Is the pain across my chest some kind of warning signal?

The doctor at the neighbourhood surgery whose name I can’t and won’t even attempt to spell was suitably reassuring before proposing it might be a good idea for me to go to the nearby walk-in clinic for a series of blood tests. He was such a charming man, terribly effecient too. Despite his reassurances however, I have spent the entire day obsessing about what that chest pain might be.

I opted not to go to the Albert Hall. There was a heavy camera to carry home from work, things to think about for the recording tomorrow and a spot of work to attend to in the morning. It was important not to cram too much in, I thought. “And, look!” I thought as I looked in the Proms brochure for tonight’s gig, “It’s being relayed on BBC Four. Why go to the Albert Hall? I’ll watch it on TV instead.”

In between sneezing, snoozing a little and engaging in conversation with my mother about something she took a dislike too on TV recently, I only managed to get part way through the Haydn Concertante from tonight’s concert. I feel like a complete let down as a result.

Call youself a Proms fan Jacob? Surely you could have stayed the course for this important gig?

Sadly not. I’m disappointed that for one reason or another tonight’s concert has passed me by. I’m banking on some free time tomorrow morning to catch up on what I missed. And if I manage to watch it back from the PVR, I promise I’ll report back. In the meantime, let me know what you think should you have an opinion when you listen via iPlayer.

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