We’re back in business. Having had at least 50 dates cancelled and a concert in Paris for 11 November 2020 has already been delayed until October 2021, we had our first live indoors gig last night.
A new pre-Covid venue, set up by two guys, a conductor/pianist former investment banker, a clarinetist and the head chef who teaches at a famous cookery school is a violinist. So they decided to combine music careers with a restaurant and bringing top performers into intimate musical evenings.
They were finally allowed to open after lockdown last week and started up with Stephen Isserlis. It’s pretty expensive, so my immediate choice was Alina Ibragimova and Samson Tsoy.
So it starts around 7 for drinks, but apparently Alina was playing Bach’s Chaconne before we arrived and there was quite a crowd outside. But if you have one of the world’s best violinists playing one of the most famous pieces of music ever what do you expect?
So we got going with Janacek, Spiegel Im Spiegel and then the Kreutzer sonata, the latter performance was mind-blowing. Dinner followed and social distancing seemed to be forgotten. Then some Elgar followed by desert. Also the end of Messiaen’s Quartet for the end of time - very Covid. Quite a lot of wine.
My wife’s new best friend is Pavel Kolesnikov, who was there with friends, who we were meant to be seeing performing the Brandenburg’s in May. Thanks to lockdown he’s been doing a new show performing the Goldberg set for September/October in Bruges, so that’s a date.
Anyway, Alina and Samson then played a Schumann sonata, Alina sight-reading, Pavel filling in as assistant page-turner. Then Pavel took over, playing another two Beethoven sonatas with Alina. By then it was 1 in the morning and time for bed, I’m not sure if they played more, quite possibly, they’re all Russian so quite early.
World class music-making, everyone chatting and having fun. Not perfect acoustics, but pretty good. Buses, motorbikes, the occasional police car and a barking dog as additional accompaniment.
A great concept and works brilliantly.