I spent a couple of weeks looking at the ads to see if there was anything interesting to listen to in Manchester. I'd already booked my tickets for "Norma" at the Lowry, but I felt I needed something less dramatic to listen to, less frocks and make-up.
So I saw an upcoming concert by Natalie Clein. No real decision about that one, I bought a ticket.
I was checking who was appearing during the weeks and months to come..... Nicola Benedetti.
I've been to see both these young ladies at the Royal Festival Hall or the Wigmore, but my favourite for both was the 100 Club. Small, intimate setting with minimal accompaniment.
Natalie Clein is possibly the most interesting cellist I've ever heard. Scratch that, I mean musician I've ever heard. Nicola Benedetti is simply a fantastic violinist. Both are virtuosi.
Next.. N. Benedetti
Yep, Tuesday was Natalie Clein, Wednesday was Nicola Benedetti. An interesting week.
I took my son to see Natalie Clein, we were in the cheap seats to begin. The Bach and Larcher were lovely, but still a little quiet. After the interval, we found ourselves in much better seats to hear the Kodaly.
This was my son's first classical concert, he was impressed by the Bach and the Larcher, after the interval (and a little closer to Natalie) he fell in love with the Kodaly. I found it an intense experience personally, a soloist, in front of 2-300 people and playing without any accompaniment. No support, no backup. absolutely outstanding.
The following evening I heard Nicola Benedetti. She played the Beethoven Violin Concerto. With the Hallé Orchestra. It was so bad I booked a ticket for the Sunday performance of the same program.
I saw and heard Natalie Clein and Nicola Benedetti in the same week. Could it get any better?
I bought a ticket to see Nicola again, for Sunday. So I saw the whole program again, including Sibelius' 5th. The Hallé kick ass, give them a try.
Tomorrow is "Norma".