Fanfare for Cardinal Fang

Last week we once again caught the train to London to see our son perform with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for the 28th concert of this year’s Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. It was another great concert, with engrossing performances of works by Paul Hindemith, Richard Strauss and Aaron Copland, most of which I hadn’t heard before (apart from “Fanfare for the Common Man” incorporated into Copland’s third symphony); and rousing encores at the end of each half. We were sat above the orchestra, looking down on them and the rest of the audience—an excellent view, although it meant the sound was sometimes heading away from us. If you’re curious, the BBC Radio 3 broadcast is available online for the next two months, and the concert will be on BBC television and iPlayer in a week or so.

This time we stayed in West Brompton near Kensington and Fulham, where apart from the concert we spent most of our time, although I caught the bus with my daughter to Piccadilly Circus on Saturday to visit a few shops. Despite the rain, there was a queue to get into M&M World and its four floors of M&Merchandising, but she wanted a cup full of miscellaneous M’s and a few other knick-knacks, so queue we did. I preferred the taro milk bubble tea from Woo Tea along the road, and seeing Carnaby Street almost forty years after my first time there. On Sunday we visited an art shop and the Natural History Museum for a quick dinosaur break (now including feathered ones), and on Monday we all spent our time around King’s Cross, enjoying some bao buns and cakes and seeing the treasures of the British Library before catching the train home. (Magna Carta and all that, sure, but for me the best surprise was seeing the original handwritten script of the Spanish Inquisition sketch. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition sketch.)

I didn’t take as many photos as in April, but have added some more to the London 2023 gallery at Detail…

London 2023

9 August 2023 · Journal