Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre, London. Seat Balcony D11 (GP 21)
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
This concert hall was built soon after WWII and was refurbished recently. It is the home to both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. For all its years of existence, and the many trips we have made to London, this was the first time we went inside. The concert hall is pretty big, the stage is tiered so the audience has a good view of the performers. The acoustics are quite good also, perhaps it was the refurbishment? The seats are also quite comfortable.
Today's pieces are staple fare for the orchestra. I say that afterward as I wasn't sure how Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony would sound like. The Adagio movement is a very melodic one and many people are familiar with it.
Beethoven's first piano concerto sounds very Mozartian to me. Especially the last movement. I say that in no small part due to the many repeated notes in the melody, especially the last movement. To that end I find the performance a bit disappointing. There was simply too much use of the pedal which muddies up the music quite a bit. The balance between the soloist and the orchestra is quite good though; I never thought one part drowned out the other.
The Rachmaninoff was quite enjoyable, rousing at times. In general the precision is a bit lacking. The audience was quite enthusiastic in its reception.
Again, without a program (we were a bit late so didn't even look for them), I know little about the conductor, orchestra, or the soloist.