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Why the LSO has got it right

December 15, 2009

I love classical music.

Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say that classical music or more specifically orchestral music has the potential to offer total escape.

Sometimes I can have Radio 3 on all day. Sometimes I’ll try and deny the fact I’ve been forced to tune into Classic FM. I have even been known to actually quite admire John Brunning‘s velvety tones. Choral Evensong is always a safe bet on a Wednesday afternoon. Breakfast on Radio 3, reliable.

Occasionally however some things can take me by surprise. Formerly they’ve been works I’ve heard on the radio. Latterly they’ve been excerpts I’ve found myself immersed in on the internet.

So it is with the LSO‘s latest YouTube gobbit. I’m fairly certain that former Radio 3 chappy Tommy Pearson from Red Ted Films is behind this little gem from the London Symphony featuring Gergiev commanding a sickeningly committed string section (and a reassuringly sparkling wind section) through a sequence I’d not heard before in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

And that’s the thing. We all know the usual predictable extract from Romeo and Juliet (dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum) but embarrassingly I can’t recall ever having heard this bit. And the ONLY reason I’ve heard it is because Twitter user Tam Pollard tweeted a link to it saying the same thing.

Having heard it, I’m quite keen to either get the performance on DVD (hopefully blu-ray if The Pearson has shot it in HD) or on CD.

Let’s hope the LSO’s marketing department get their backsides in gear. If they don’t, I may be forced to purchase someone else’s recording.

Either way, I may possibly end up being persuaded to go straight to iTunes as a result of have an excerpt pushed past me a video on the internet. And if that’s the case, I may well be tuning into my radio a little less during the day.

I’ll be going straight to the source of the music. And when that happens that’s a signal that peer review has finally made it to the classical music world. And not a moment too soon either.


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  1. Hi there Jon,
    I’m afraid I can’t take the credit for this one – (there’s no way I’d have allowed that errant, clunky pan from the front desk of first violins towards the woodwind). But it’s very nice of you to think of me.
    Most of the films I HAVE made for the LSO are on my YouTube channel or hunt around the LSO site ( for all the interviews I’ve shot over the years.
    There are lots more to come – making a new batch for the 2010/11 season already!


  2. Chris permalink

    Always love a bit of Prokofiev, me. And that was a juicy chunk of music.

    It’s really rewarding to see internet technology and more traditional art forms combine!

  3. Jon –
    This is an inexplicably interesting post. I’m hooked on classical music, too, and don’t mind whether it be dense meaty Mahler symphonies or light soundbites of ballet or even Eric Coates. Thank you for sharing this snippet of Prokofiev – I, too, would have guessed this was Tommy’s film work (glad that pan wasn’t, though) which I always find entertaining and enlightening.
    Keep writing!

  4. 🙂

    Thanks Stephen.

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