Christmas stuffing

The witch couldn’t have got closer if she’d planned it. As we made our way down the aisle at the Bridgewater Hall on Thursday (and I’m not talking weddings here), I realised I was about to sit closer to my favourite double bass player than ever before. From my seat it was a very short distance to Roberto Carrillo-García. Daughter can’t see what I see in him, but then she’s very young.

The reason I hadn’t planned anything was that the Hallé stuffers received an invitation for an extra free concert with less than 24 hours to spare, and by some miracle the witch family were all available to make use of the offer, once we had extricated Daughter from school an hour early. A cancelled train (Thanks, Northern!) almost did for us, but we had determination on our side. Anyway, I reckon the late ticket offer was to test our dedication to the Hallé.

Not being the most knowledgeable on classical music, I went in the belief that I didn’t know any of the music. But I’m not quite that bad! It was a kind of Russian relay, with Tchaikovsky to begin with, and Prokofiev to finish off. I see from the programme notes that their lives overlapped by two years.

I know the Overture to Romeo and Juliet. Must be the iPod, as I hardly ever sit down with proper LPs or CDs nowadays. What’s more, I knew the Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, too. I’m amazed at myself. Nicely played by Polina Leschenko.

After the others gorged themselves on ice cream (I brought grapes) we had a Suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, so we stayed romantic and tragic. Even the first bit of that sounded familiar, or was I imagining Peter and the Wolf in it all?

Conductor Alexander Polianichko conducted well, I think, but I must confess to having paid more attention to Roberto C-G. There’s something about the double bass. I like that side of the orchestra. Tuba, trombone, double bass. And thanks to some rearranging of how the Hallé players sit now, R C-G is less far away.

I noticed that stuffing brothers D and G sat very near the lovely Polina Leschenko. And the ever beautiful Lyn Fletcher. Might have been coincidence..?

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