I’m just returned from an evening spent in seat A12 at the West Road Concert Hall. I’m not sure whether my seat was named in honour of a really tiny piece of paper or a really massive German automobile (or I suppose it could conceivably relate to the road to Great Yarmouth: one of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s less successful movies. Did Mr Crosby have an estranged brother called Google by any chance?).
I am now wondering for what x would Ax be either a piece of paper as small as an atom or an Audi as big as the world? I suppose I could work out the answer to the former, but it’s late and the force of apathy is strong.
Anyhow, I seem to have become distracted. Seat A12 was so close to the Endellion String Quartet that I could have page turned for the cellist. One of the joys of concert-going in Cambridge is that one can often be very much closer to the action than in London. It is very much like HD television, in that you can see every wrinkle on the performers (or, given the youth of many, the lack thereof) and every scuff on their instruments (and, indeed, their shoes).
Last night, I got to be “up close and personal” with the soloist in Arutunian’s Trumpet Concerto (C6, since you ask – a modest envelope or large Citroen). This was quite interesting as you can normally barely see the brass section, hidden as they are behind an ocean of strings. (Is ocean the right group noun for strings? Perhaps a pluck or bow of strings? A cheese?). Matt Letts, for it was he, was really very impressive (not something I’d expected to say about a trumpeter – well, unless they were an elephant). Being close also illustrated what a physical process playing the trumpet is – I’m sure all that back pressure in the head can’t be good for you!
Talking of elephants and the trumpet reminds me of a very old joke. I used to play Bridge with an elephant (it’s a joke, so you needn’t be concerned that a pachyderm would probably struggle with the finer points of Acol or Blackwood), but every time I played an ace she used to trumpet!
Look, I never said it was good – just old – and I suppose it does rather ignore the option of No Trumps. But hey, this is free – if you want quality, you may have to start paying!