Hey guys!! So my family and I had booked tickets for one of the special events for City of Culture which was on Friday at the Middleton Hall. It was basically an ensemble of instruments called the New London Chamber Ensemble (which included piano, flute, clarinet, oboe, French horn and bassoon) playing music while stories and poems were being read. It was one of the most interesting and unique shows I’ve ever watched in my life and I’m really glad I got the oppurtunity to see it. In today’s blog post, I’m going to be describing this event to you and giving you my opinion on it.
As the lights dimmed for the start of the act, the musicians, who’d all been strategically placed around the auditorium, began to play their instruments and make their way towards the stage. The first part of the performance was ‘Opus Number Zoo’ which is described in the programme as being ‘a children’s play for a wind quintet written by Luciano Berio’. The musicians took it in turns to narrate the story and play their instruments. They also used their instruments as props and used movement to portray the animals in ‘Opus Number Zoo’. The animals included : a fox and a chicken, a fawn, some mice and some tomcats. I found this part of the show very interesting and I liked the fact that they used movement and acting so they could properly portray the animals in ‘Opus Number Zoo’.
The next part of the performance was the musical performance of ‘Peter and the wolf’ which was written by Prokofiev, a major composer of the 20th century. The story was read by Simon Callow and within the story each character was represented by a different instrument. The bird was represented by the flute, the duck by the oboe, the cat by the clarinet, the grandfather by the bassoon, the wolf by the French horn and lower wind instruments and Peter and the hunters by the whole quintet. Each instrument matched its character so well that you got a vivid image in your mind of what was happening throughout the story. This was definitely the highlight of the show for me because of how vividly I could imagine each part of the story and individual characters due to how well matched the instrument was to it’s character.
The third part of the performance was a piece of music called ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ which was written by Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov, a Russian composer of the 19th and 20th century. ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ is such an intricate and tricky piece to execute well and the musicians did not fail to impress. Since ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ is one of my favourite pieces of music I really enjoyed this part of the show and it was amazing how it sounded just like a Bumble Bee!!
The final part of the performance was ‘Dirty Beasts’ which was written by Martin Butler, a pianist, who joined the ensemble for this part of the act. ‘Dirty Beasts’ features three of Roald Dahl’s poems that are all about eating or being eaten!! The musicians perfectly illustrated the poems with the music that they were playing and you could vividly imagine the weird and slightly disturbing content in each poem. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the performance and the performance as a whole and I feel that ‘Dirty Beasts’ rounded off the performance nicely.
I would rate this event 10 out 10 stars since I really felt there was nothing that could be improved about the event and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an event that whatever age you were you could go along and still come out having really enjoyed it and been thoroughly entertained.
Thank you for reading this blog post!! If you’ve not been to one of the events so far for City of Culture I challenge you to visit the next event wherever you live and whatever the next event might be!! There’ll be a new blog post up next week but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull