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Prom 74: Orchestra de Paris / Eschenbach / Mahler 1

September 11, 2008

I was originally intending to cycle from London Charing Cross to the Royal Albert Hall this evening. I’ve been working from home today (it’s worth stressing that when I work from home I really work from home and certainly did so today) and as a result looked forward to cycling. It would be a bit of a break. I’d get an endorphin rush before the concert.

As it was, I found I’d left the house too late. I got to Hither Green station in time for the 1826. I panicked slightly and then thought about the opportunity to get a few more pages covered of the book I’m reading and ended up leaving my bike at the station.

By the time I found myself sitting in my seat minutes before the concert began, I was feeling quite justifiably lucky.

My walk up from South Kensington tube resulted in me bumping into a handful of people who happened to have tickets to a box in the Grand Tier. “There’s a spare seat Jon, do you fancy joining us?”

I did think long and hard about the season ticket in my pocket. What would the Prommers say? Would I be able to look them in the face? Two nights in the Grand Tier in one week?

The best course of action seemed to at least cast an eye over the arena and see where I would end up standing and/or sitting.

My position was quite far back. I made a quick decision. The Grand Tier seemed like the best option, especially given that I knew it was the one next door to the Tv commentator’s box-thing. If I didn’t enjoy what I heard emanating from the stage, I could at least look on Grand Tier 41 and dream a bit.

It was a good decision. The auditorium wasn’t too packed – I’m sorry to confess that I prefer it when there’s a few empty seats in the Royal Albert Hall – and I really enjoyed the concert. I heard a few clinking of glasses during the Mahler and one person in the stalls seemed to get strangely excited at the end of one of the movements, but that’s OK. They were enjoying themselves too.

It’s Beethoven 9 tomorrow night. Seems like the most fitting thing to listen to at the end of the season.

Prom 74 via the BBC iPlayer

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