Richard Bratby

White-knuckle ride

Plus: at Bridgewater Hall sculpted grandeur and sensitivity from Mark Elder conducting the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic in Gurrelieder

Playing in an orchestra that disintegrates mid-concert is not an experience you forget. One moment everything’s motoring along nicely. Suddenly a harmony doesn’t quite fit, the soloist enters on the wrong beat: it doesn’t matter, because before you can work out what to do next the confusion spreads, the conductor signals frantically and with a pit-of-the-stomach lurch the floor drops out of the music and you’re all sat there facing the audience amid the one sound that no one present has paid to hear: mortified silence.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in