David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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James Galway concert last Friday ...

So, as I mentioned a while back, (Sir) James Galway came to Melbourne last Friday, for one of four concerts on his latest Australian tour[1]. I saw him on one of his previous visits - in about 1985, when I was in high school. He's still touring and performing and teaching on a pretty packed schedule - not bad considering he's 70 now !
And he's still playing demanding programs - looking at his website shows a number of the major flute works on his programs (if teleporters and time machines existed, I'd go back to the concert he gave in Italy in September on my birthday, with I Solisti Veneti and Claudio Scimone, which included the Mercandate concerto in E minor - one of my favourites).

Anyway, Friday's program started with Mozart - and I stayed awake ! That almost never happens (apologies to Mozart fans, but apparently I find his music good to doze to, at least when encountered in a concert hall). That was followed by some Debussy (Clair De Lune and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair), the Carmen Fantasy (Bizet/Borne; in modern terms it's a Bizet remix, for flute), and the Chaminade Concertino.

The programme was advertised as a mix of classical, popular and Irish pieces - there ended up being more classical than I was expecting, which wasn't a bad thing at all (but the Baby Elephant Walk and Pink Panther were fun, and the Irish music all very nice (and Badinereelerie had me grinning all the way through - think "Bach/Riverdance mash-up")). There were more show-pieces from the classical side in the second half too, such as The Swiss Shepherd by Morlacchi, and the Carnival of Venice by Briccialdi (inventor of the Bb key on the flute ! I never knew that before ... ). And the final encore was, of course, Bach's Badinerie from the Suite in B minor - these days more often heard as a ring-tone than in a concert hall, but still a fine way to end a very good evening.

After the concert, I decided I'd hang around for an autograph - apparently so did everyone else. Fortunately I had a book with me - and after a few minutes, I turned around to notice toley_elf standing behind me, so I put the book away and we chatted. Eventually got to the head of the queue, and then I ... well, totally fanboyed Sir James Galway ... lots of vaguely coherent babble ending in "... and it was awesome!".
That sums up the night for me pretty well, actually, it was indeed awesome, I'm very glad I went.

[1] And since he seems to have faded from the general consciousness - he plays the flute. He's been doing it for about 50 years now, in fact, and is generally considered one of the greatest flautists ever (alongside Jean-Pierre Rampal, and perhaps Marcel Moyse). He's done some "cross-over" work, but generally stays focused on the classical repertoire.

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