Number crunching

I attended a concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra this Wednesday, at London’s Southbank Centre. The draw was Sibelius’ ever-uplifting Fifth Symphony, but the surprise was the preceding Fourth Symphony, so much darker and bleaker in tone. A picture of a mind on the edge of an existential nightmare. The conductor Osmo Vänskä shaped and moulded the sounds as minutely as he did with the quiet moments of the Fifth – and hypnotised the whole audience with the little-known Fourth. The Times’ Hilary Finch can say it all so much better than me.


The Orchestra, as they stood for the applause, looked triumphant – as much as the faces an orchestra after such an intense perfromance can express anything. The was no hint of the gigantic financial scandal that is engulfing their company. For it was also a Times article that reminded me, the next day, of the £2.3 million theft from their coffers by their former financial director.


“You wouldn’t guess from their faces that their orchestra must be teetering on collapse,” I commented.


“Of course not,” I was told. “They’ve got this far with the hole, and survived. What they’ve learned is that in fact they’ll one day be £2.3 million better off than they thought they were.”


Oh yes. Just was well for all that I’m a marketing person not an economist.


Meanwhile, don’t miss the recording of last Wednesday’s concert, which will be on Radio 3, 7pm, on February 15th.