Yet another new venue for me! Despite living in Manchester, all the time I am discovering new performance venues. This one is The Albert Hall. A converted Wesleyan Chapel built in 1910, and now hosts comedy, pop and rock concerts and even classical music concerts too. It's a rather dingy and cold building desperately in need of repair, but the lofty ceiling and wooden frame make it acoustically as near perfect as you'll get in a non-purpose built venue.
This was one of a series of concerts of lighter or more popular music, hence their title, "Pops", which aims to showcase the orchestra, opening themselves to a wider range of music, influences and hopefully audience members.
Last night's evening was entitled, 'Keep The Home Fires Burning', and, with such a title this could only have one implication - a commemoration and remembrance of the time when this country came together like no other; a time when war ravaged through Europe and we were on the brink of collapse; but a time when our single human spirit joined us together and, despite our huge losses, eventually pulled though victorious.
Once again I find myself verily impressed by the quality and diversity of these extremely talented musicians. If you think Classical musicians are all stuffy and aloof, then think again!! Tonight was Fright Night, and, albeit a little tongue-in-cheek and self-effacing, the evening was extremely entertaining with a very mixed-bag of music on offer. Everything from a Wagner overture to Michael Jackson's Thriller!!
What an absolute treat of an evening's musical entertainment! Every year, the Halle Orchestra perform a series of Pop Concerts, which, rather in the spirit of The Last Night Of The Proms without the patriotic pomp, opens up the world of Classical music to those who would not normally be interested and certainly wouldn't sit through a Beethoven symphony. This is one of the world's leading orchestras reaching out to a different demographic, and it was indeed lovely to see that the audience really reflected this. Very young children accompanied by parents and young couples accounted for a large percentage of last night's audience.
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