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View Full Version : CD REVIEW 05/02/2011 - the inncocent ear.



Cellini
05-02-11, 09:27
Interesting! I switched on and heard the first movement of the Medelssohn vln concerto. No idea who was playing for a while. I found it good but not earth moving, a little dodgy intonation here an there, some to my ears strange phrasing, and by the end of the movement rather a scrabble for the final chord. By this time I thought it might be James Ehenes - and it was.

I'm normally a great fan of his and was hoping to go to his Wigmore recital coming up soon, as I did last year, but not sure now as I'm having a dispute with the Wigmore Hall's pricing and ticket policy, which I think is crazy. But I may change my mind.

Perhaps, like a lot of top players, JE is doing too much, and would benefit from a bit more time off? There is no doubt about his potential abilities.

doversoul
05-02-11, 10:45
AM said that this was a live recording, which may explain why those scrabble etc. have been left. Are they (bad) enough to distract you from enjoying the performance? This is a genuine question as I couldn’t have detected those details.

For a matter of interest, what is it you don't like about the Wigmore Hall’s pricing?

Cellini
05-02-11, 11:17
AM said that this was a live recording, which may explain why those scrabble etc. have been left. Are they (bad) enough to distract you from enjoying the performance? This is a genuine question as I couldn’t have detected those details.

For a matter of interest, what is it you don't like about the Wigmore Hall’s pricing?

Hi Doversoul

Always a pleasure to try and answer your perceptive questions!!

No they were not bad anough to stop me getting some enjoyment and his playing at times was excellent. I should have said that I was aware of it being a live performance, and I did to a certain extent take that into account. I was really nit picking and I generally admire JE a lot, and consider him to be amongst the top 5 or 6 fiddlers of today.

The Wigmore Hall has been irksome for me for a while now, because of their pricing policy. Whenever there are seats available at £12 + £1 booking fee, with a £2 concession, it is impossible to get the consession on line. If booking by phone they have a booking fee of £2 - so concession wiped out! If you book in person at the hall you apparently get the £2 concession - but I can rarely do this other than by making a special journey into central London.

I'm also miffed because I heard the Takacs String Quartet at the QEH only a few days ago for £9, but the Wigmore's cheapest seats for the Takacs later this year is £18 - this just because it is a Wigmore Hall 110th anniversary year. 110th anniversary - read rip off to get more money!! Who celebrates 110th ????

I notice their pricing policy is to push seat prices upwards, in a time of recession. For instance Barenboim's recital has cheapest seats at £30 and dearest at £60. I know he may be expensive, but surely the hall could absorb the cost a bit as a one off? They are pricing themselves out of the market, in my view.

Maybe I should report them to Mr Cameron ... :winkeye:

amateur51
05-02-11, 12:18
I notice their pricing policy is to push seat prices upwards, in a time of recession. For instance Barenboim's recital has cheapest seats at £30 and dearest at £60. I know he may be expensive, but surely the hall could absorb the cost a bit as a one off? They are pricing themselves out of the market, in my view.


I think the whole 'booking fee' lark is a nonsense - they should absorb the costs of admin into the ticket price & leave it at that.

Wigmore Hall is a relatively small hall at around 550 seats, great sound wherever you sit, not really a dud seat in the place. John Gilhooly and his team have pulled the place up by its bootstraps after a period of decline, with inventive marketing and the Friends scheme, so that most concerts are over-subscribed, even as the prices rise. Many concerts are sold out before the general public gets a sniff of a ticket. Some musicians are even persuaded to repeat programmes because of demand for tickets.

They would be foolish to 'cheapen' the 'brand' that they've so carefully created (hello Eudamonia! :laugh:). Unfortunately it means that ordinary punters like thee & me, Cellini, are often priced out :sadface:

There is a solution but it means shelling out £200+ to become a really 'special' Friend. Over the course of a year, that might be worthwhile if you've got £200 to spare.

Which is why the BBC's broadcasts from there are so valuable :ok:

Brassbandmaestro
05-02-11, 12:21
Because this reason of price is why I hav'nt been to a live concert for sometime!

Cellini
05-02-11, 12:49
I think the whole 'booking fee' lark is a nonsense - they should absorb the costs of admin into the ticket price & leave it at that.

Wigmore Hall is a relatively small hall at around 550 seats, great sound wherever you sit, not really a dud seat in the place. John Gilhooly and his team have pulled the place up by its bootstraps after a period of decline, with inventive marketing and the Friends scheme, so that most concerts are over-subscribed, even as the prices rise. Many concerts are sold out before the general public gets a sniff of a ticket. Some musicians are even persuaded to repeat programmes because of demand for tickets.

They would be foolish to 'cheapen' the 'brand' that they've so carefully created (hello Eudamonia! :laugh:). Unfortunately it means that ordinary punters like thee & me, Cellini, are often priced out :sadface:

There is a solution but it means shelling out £200+ to become a really 'special' Friend. Over the course of a year, that might be worthwhile if you've got £200 to spare.

Which is why the BBC's broadcasts from there are so valuable :ok:

The thing is Amateur51, I could afford the prices, but I think I'm being ripped off. The Wigmore used to be a reasonably priced concert hall - but now the concerts are just about the same but the prices have been pushed up. I will ask some of the musicians I know who perform there if their fees have gone up, as I doubt it. They told me that the Takacs prices were because of the calibre of the artists and because it was a special 110th aniversary concert (Claire Chisolm manager of the box office ...) Also a special reception in the interval (Pull the other one!!)

But I hear the Takacs at the S Bank for £9 and the concerts, the accoustic, and everything else is great. (I think the QEH may hold 700). Of course the Takacs are second to none, and they are appreciative of their audience. My gripe is only with the Wigmore. (And the QEH has fine accoustics and it is great no matter where you sit. I noticed how wonderful the leader was sounding recently and he attributed it to his new brand of strings! In fact he just a wonderful player, full stop!!)

amateur51
05-02-11, 13:57
I suspect there's an element of venue prestige in play too, Cellini.

Whatever we may think, Wigmore Hall has a cachet that QEH does not.

The fact that all that pink marble makes the inside of the Hall look like a Victorian lavatory is neither here nor there :laugh:

There's a market for those sorts of artists at those sorts of prices playing for those people in that Hall - and Wigmore Hall has created it. Not much we can do I'm afraid :sadface:

doversoul
05-02-11, 15:05
I suspect there's an element of venue prestige in play too, Cellini.

Whatever we may think, Wigmore Hall has a cachet that QEH does not.

The fact that all that pink marble makes the inside of the Hall look like a Victorian lavatory is neither here nor there :laugh:

There's a market for those sorts of artists at those sorts of prices playing for those people in that Hall - and Wigmore Hall has created it. Not much we can do I'm afraid :sadface:

Well, I hope there are only those sorts of people and not too many those sorts of artists.

Cellini
Thank you for your kind response. I knew I could depend on you :smiley: Did you hear Viktoria Mullova (on other thread)?

Cellini
05-02-11, 15:20
Cellini
Thank you for your kind response. I knew I could depend on you :smiley: Did you hear Viktoria Mullova (on other thread)?
No, unfortunately I missed it, but I did read about it on the other thread. I've been tied up with work and playing sessions as well as family visits, plus a cold, so have been a bit corkscrewed recently. I'm being told I must do less so I'm listening to my old teacher on a CD at the moment. But Schubert calls, so I will have to come back to life soon, before its too late.