June 02, 2010
Music to my ears
I went to see the violinist Nigel Kennedy doing a gig at the Royal Festival Hall at the weekend. He turned up - in accordance with time-honoured rock concerts tradition - 40min late, but the performance was worth waiting for.
Its theme was Chopin, in both classical and modern interpretations by Chopin Super Group led by Kennedy. Not for purists or people who claim to only listen to 'classical' music then.
The genius of Kennedy (apart from his astounding talent and virtuosity, obviously) is that he defies any attempts to label him. Classically trained, with brilliant and bestselling recordings of major violin concerti, sell-out concerts all over the world etc., he was keen in his youth on trashing hotel rooms and generally behaving irreverently. But that irreverence is much more interesting when applied to not respecting the categories or boundaries between different kinds of music, rather than not respecting social norms. The latter can be tiresome and boring.
In Kennedy's world there is no Classical Music, or Jazz Music or Schmazz Music. There is only Music and he feels free enough to mix and mingle as he sees fit. The result was an exhilirating celebration of Chopin's music that ended with a rock rendition of Polonaise in A-flat major. Let's do the 'fucking Polonaise' a bit better, said the clearly enjoying himself Maestro, as a prelude to an encore.
Believe me, there was nothing flat about it!
Posted by Marzena at June 2, 2010 09:40 PM