Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Limelight/The 100 Club

London boasts a growing number of endeavours that present classical music in places far removed from the traditional concert hall. Now into its second year, Limelight is one such venture that has been lucky enough to bag The 100 Club on Oxford Street for its monthly outing.

I couldn't tell you whether hosting at this venue, famed for its Northern Soul nights, has tempted new audiences through the door but it certainly offers the listener a very rewarding intimacy unmatched by more conventional confines including the Wigmore Hall.

And so it was the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra performed a multi-coloured interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons complete with barking fiddle players, a castanet touting percussionist and other accompanying sound effects. They were followed by Norway's other great cultural export, Leif Ove Andsnes who performed Chopin to a rapt audience. Even the queue for the bar seemed to evaporate once he began playing.

I'd be surprised if more people didn't climb on the band-wagon that Limelight and others have started. Once experienced, you wonder why you haven't had your classical music served up like this before. It's an experiment the good people at the Proms would do well to consider.

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