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Ensemble

Shh ... Out!

MALCOLM MILLER was at the
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's
75th Anniversary Prom
for an audience composition to remember ...

 

As a buzz of excitement coursed around the capacity-filled Royal Albert Hall for the Prom on 1 September 2011, one sensed it was to be an evening of great performances, as of surprises: the IPO celebrating its 75th anniversary, in excellent form for a colourful, if popular European and Iberian programme, with the outstanding Israeli violinist Gil Shaham in the Bruch Concerto, under the charismatic Zubin Mehta, who this year celebrates fifty years working with some of the world's leading orchestras, including, alongside the IPO, the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics.

The evening's unscheduled surprise was an improvised choral work 'for audience and protestors', unfolding in several movements throughout the concert. Fortunately it did not affect one's appreciation of the main musical fare, but it offered an intriguing instance of inappropriate public participation, notably on the part of the protestors. The 'piece' was 'scored' for a group of brazen political protestors scattered strategically around the hall producing noisy disruptions, during and between pieces at several points throughout the evening, and for a large portion of the packed hall who, in response, showed vocal disapproval of the protestors with shouts of 'shh' and 'out'. The result was a form of choral 'free improvisation' reminiscent perhaps of large scale Prom vocal experiences, one which might entitled 'Shh .....

Copyright © 3 September 2011 Malcolm Miller,
London UK

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BBC PROMS

LONDON

ZUBIN MEHTA

MAX BRUCH

ANTON WEBERN

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

ISRAEL

PALESTINE

ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

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