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Proms 2009: Prom 28 – Mozart Bassoon Concerto \ Karen Geoghegan \ BBC Philharmonic

August 5, 2009



One of the benefits of not staying to the end of a reasonably long Prom concert is the much sought-after opportunity to take advantage of an otherwise quiet Exhibition Road and fairly empty tube train home. It makes the trip home after a concert less of an ordeal, especially when the temperature is high and having a bath has creeped up my personal list of priorities.

Of course, such a move on any Prommer’s part is fraught with risk. What will other people think? Will I lose credibility by making my escape at the time the charity fundraisers make their customary end-of-interval announcement (they’ve raised over £20,000 through collections on the door – God only knows what it will be come the end of the season) ?

I wasn’t really up for hearing Mahler’s 6th symphony this evening. I didn’t have the stamina. My feet were already throbbing during the Stravinsky ballet which opened this evening’s concert given by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the thought of standing in the fourth row of the arena for 85 minutes to hear the symphony wasn’t a strong enough pull. That’s not to say it’s not worth listening to. It’s just I want to go home and have a bath and see my significant other and listen to the Archers and go to bed. Yes, at 36 years old my life really is that quaint. I quite like that.

And anyway, I did venture to the arena bar feeling quite smug. I reckoned I’d heard the real star of the show already. Karen Geoghegan (I can’t pronounce her surname – just listen to the pitiful attempts in both of this evening’s AudioBoos) delivered a spirited performance of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, filling the hall with her perky tone and keeping at least one member of the attentive arena audience gripped.

I can’t provide proof of a consensus, but there was a noticeable turning of heads amongst the Prommers and a number of smiles on the nodding heads I noticed who made me think I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm.

So should I feel that guilty about leaving early? I did seek some kind of weird permission from my cohorts in the arena bar in between gassing with @rfenwick, even if I quickly realised seeking such permission was both weird and unnecessary.

Definitely worth a listen. The Mahler too – when I get around to it.

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