UBS Soundscapes is a long standing concert series that takes place at the ever so attractive LSO St Luke's. With its emphasis on informality (you can drink alcohol basically) and musical eclecticism, most of the artists hitherto have been drawn from the jazz and world music circuit. Less in evidence have been classical performers which was partially rectified last night with a concert given by the LSO Chamber Ensemble.
Entitled 'Beethoven Plus', it allowed several of the orchestra's principals to strut their stuff in small ensembles and as soloists, an opportunity if ever there was for some unlikely corners of the repertoire to be explored. Chris Richards gave an immaculate account of Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo which was preceded by a work for double bass, violin and piano by the little known composer Bottesini. It is, I'm told, a bit of a sacred cow in the double bass world that demands deft movement over the strings' harmonics. The soloist, Rinat Ibragimov certainly didn't disappoint, his performance getting the biggest cheer of the evening.
Beethoven's Septet in Eb rounded off an interesting night out, perhaps one for the musically curious than the layman. And if at times it felt a little like a school concert - one or two of the players need to work on their public speaking - it is hopefully the start of more regular appearances by this fine group of musicians.