Beautiful – despite the jet lag (a clear sign of ageing it must be, after just a long weekend in NY) the Royal Philarmonic completely absorbed me yesterday with a passionate and loving Tannhäuser Overture. Passionate and loving in particular were the winds at the beginning, while I was expecting something more solemn, which I am probably more used to. And then Renee Fleming arrived wearing a huge black chiffon dress which did not overpower her endearing image. Her round, warm voice was perfect for Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs. She held the long melodic lines graciously and I did find myself holding breath while being lifted and moved around by the melody. “Comforting”, I thought. You wish you had her around all the time.
The photo is the Royal Festival Hall organ, now all cramped up under restauration.