The “understated, modest little soirée”, as conductor John Rigby put it, was ever as spectacular as had been predicted. On having the most fantastic line up, the audience were entertained by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Choir and Band of the Royal Logistics Corps. Our much-loved and well-known classical pieces were presented, many of which have been reproduced in media and used so many times that we have forgotten how they should really sound. For this reason, it was a privilege to be able to hear them live at such an iconic and historic venue. On top of this as if the music was not enough, Classical Spectacular dancers accompanied a couple of the pieces and Prima Ballerina Elena Glurdjidze danced gracefully to Saint-Saëns’ The Dying Swan. It was also a wonderfully patriotic evening as Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem, Rule Britannia were performed while the audience eagerly participated waving their Union Jack flags.
Throughout the evening, we heard masterpieces by Verdi, Strauss, Handel, Wagner and many more of our favourite composers. Absolute classics by Tchaikovsky were included in the set; the Swan Lake Finale as well as the incomparable 1812 Overture complete with Muskets and Cannons of the Moscow Militia fired from the top gallery, making all of those that had been lulled into a relaxed state of bliss jump right out of their seats. It was an incredible sight to see, certainly like nothing I have seen before in reality.
Furthermore, we were honoured to hear the talented solo violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, whose performances of Monti’s Csárdás and The Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams were utterly poignant and captivating. The quality and beauty of the sound of Sitkovetsky’s solos were mind-blowing and such a pleasure to hear. Accomplished opera singers Sarah Redgwick and James Edwards continued to woo the audience with their powerful voices with a few numbers including the dramatic Nessun Dorma by Puccini. Again, this was fantastic to see performed live. It is amazing, the power that such exquisite music can have over us. Most of the evening, I was in complete raptures with shivers sent down my spine unable to think of anything else other than how magnificent the music sounded. A truly spectacular evening indeed!