It's been an exciting couple of weeks for the Xorg Inter-Galactic Works Outing Sub-Committee and we've enjoyed a number of fab and groovy musical trips.
It was off to the massive shed known as the O2 Arena in Greenwich for a gig by the inimitable Peter Gabriel, who still works and performs according to his own criteria. The centrepiece of the show was a performance of Gabriel's hit album 'SO' and Gabriel recruited a top-notch band for the job, who had played on the original album. Some new songs and Greatest Hits bracketed 'SO', culminating with a dazzling if mystifying special effects finale. We assume Mr Gabriel knows what it all means.
****. One star deducted for the O2's crap acoustics.
Next stop was the Festival Hall for a concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra of works by Francis Poulenc and Sergei Prokofiev. The Prokofiev symphony is commendable but not outstanding although the LPO did it justice. Poulenc's piano concerto was performed with some verve, but this piece is something of a satire - Poulenc threw in all sorts of stuff and I suspect he was having a laugh. But everything was put into the shade by the performance of Poulenc's 'Stabat Mater' for which the LPO was joined by a 100-voice choir. This is one of the most beautiful and dramatic pieces of music ever written.
Back to the Festival Hall a week later for a concert by the BBC Concert Orchestra, and others, of Frank Zappa's '200 Motels'. This is something we have waited 42 years to hear, the original premiere having been banned by the Powers That Be at the Albert Hall on grounds of obscenity.The chumps missed the point that this is a satire of life on the road with a rock band, but is meanwhile serious classical music. Thankfully, the world has now caught up with Mr Zappa and so Bob's yer uncle. A truly wonderful piece of music, very ably performed. It was recorded by the BBC and is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.
(The Committee would like to apologise for the trip to Larnaca Municipal Theatre for a performance by the Larnaca Police Band and the Choir of the Progressive Movement. This was every bit as dreadful as the previous occasion on which he heard this bunch of tone deaf clods. They still don't tune their instruments beforehand.)