With the CBSO currently taking part in their longest-ever European engagement, Fellowship Conductor Alpesh Chauhan presents part three of his tour diary.
Day 6 – Tuesday, March 25th, 11.45am (Hannover)
Today is the orchestra’s second and final free day of its 17 day tour. Most have made plans and are already out and about in Hannover. I am going to the Maschsee Lake later for some fresh air and a nice walk.
Last night’s concert took place in the circular hall of the Hannover Congress Centrum. The day played out as follows: 9:45am-2pm train from Heidelberg to Hannover, 6:45pm-7:15pm short rehearsal, 8pm concert. As you can see, the rehearsal here was incredibly short as both of the pieces (Brahms – Piano Concerto No. 2 and Prokofiev – Romeo & Juliet excerpts) have been done many times already on this tour.
The first 15 minutes consisted of some quick corners from Musical Director Andris Nelsons and soloist HélèneGrimaud, followed by 15 minutes of Prokofiev. There were two moments (one of intonation and the other of ensemble stability) that Andris had to sort and then he asked me to conduct some excerpts, allowing him to go out into the auditorium and listen. Being circular, the hall bore a similarity to London’s Royal Albert and was very big with the acoustic halfway between the last two venues we have played, in Freiburg and Heidelbuerg.
In this hall Hélène Grimaud’s piano shone through (and the piece as a whole felt like it had matured from the previous night) while the Prokofiev filled the auditorium with energy and excitement, with some audience members on their feet at the end and more gasps after the final bang of the ‘Death of Tybalt’ finale. It feels like every time the orchestra plays a concert, it is better than the last, as the repertoire just keeps brewing and developing with conductor and orchestra, like a fantastic whiskey. Tomorrow we’re off to Hamburg where I am looking forward to seeing internationally acclaimed concert violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter for the first time.
Read part 1 of Alpesh Chauhan’s tour diary here: http://thebirminghampress.com/2014/03/if-its-friday-it-must-be/
Read part 2 here: http://thebirminghampress.com/2014/03/if-its-saturday-it-must-be/