Last weekend I was in Milan on family business, but I took time out on the late Saturday afternoon to attend a concert in the 79th series of Pomeriggi Musicali (“Musical Afternoons “).
The excellent, recently refurbished concert-hall in the Teatro Dal Verme in the bustling historic centre of the city was packed. Though there was a busy bar, the only drinks taken into the auditorium were bottles of water, and after a welcoming announcement requesting us to turn off our phones and reminding us that photography and filming were forbidden, 1500 of us in the chiefly Italian audience sat in enthralled silence enjoying a passable performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto, soloist Giuseppe Albanese, and an excellent Beethoven “Eroica” Symphony. Pietari Inkinen was the conductor, and there was a remarkable set of wind principals.
There was no applause between movements, but at the end the enthusiasm erupted into many curtain-calls, after which we all spilled out of the foyer in palpable excitement.
Perhaps the bosses at the CBSO with their razzmatazz ideas should take note that this traditional style of concert-presentation with no frills or gimmicks worked as brilliantly as it always has done. And ticket-prices were the equivalent of £15.00.
Christopher Morley

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