Saturday, February 11, 2012

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Friday, a cliffhanger in the Lords, to see whether Davis Steel's House of Lords Reform Bil would get through report, in spite of the hundreds of amendments on the Order Paper. In the end he had to sacrifice the clause ending the perpetuation of the hereditaries by means of by-elections to replace any of the 91 who die, to placate the die-hards and save the pprovisions dealing with retirement and expulsion. There is now a chance that time will be found for Third Reading and a quick race through the Commons, to get the Bill through by the end of the Session.

In the evening, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, to hear first a discussion between Chi-Chi Nwanoku MBE, the OAE's double bas player, and Sally Beamish, composer of Spinal Chords, the London premiere of which the OAE were to play. The composition is a recu=itation about what it's like to be a tetraplegic, based on the experience of Melanie Reid, the Olymic rider whose spine was broken in a fall from her horse. It was hard to think about the accompanying music when the words described such a catastrophic change in a young life.

There was sumptuous Handel, two cantatas from the Italian period, with the Italian soprano Roberta Invernizzi.

Afterwards we had a brief chat with Chi-Chi, and met the viola player Annette Isserlis.

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