Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Charles Hazlewood

Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2007 review

published: Wed 22nd Aug 2007

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August 2007
Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9EL, England MAP
£30 for Friday or Sunday, Saturday £28
last updated: Thu 29th Mar 2007

Glastonbury Abbey provides the perfect setting for this evening treat of Tchaikovsky’s popular classical music. Saturday’s event is the most civilised and this year seemed to be no exception.

Surrounded by posh picnics and long dresses we found our place amongst the hushed crowd who were soon transfixed by the Corelli Quartet and Nathanial Comer followed by the lush soprano sounds of Julia Sporsén, from Sweden, singing the letter scene from Eugene Onegin, all accompanied at one point or another by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was another warm, sultry evening and Charles Hazlewood expertly introduced the music and musicians, describing Tchaikovsky’s life through his music. He is an excellent lecturer, interesting and enigmatic, a fabulous storyteller.

Similarly, Alexander Sitkovetsky is an amazing violinist. He commanded power and energy throughout, completely locked into each musical moment.

A classical music concert really makes you think about the skill of the musicians who train all their lives, and who play for hours, the notes undulating, swift then slow, flowing like a river, fast, full, rich.



Obviously, I am not a great classical music buff and this was populist music by classical standards. The programme opened with a waltz from Sleeping Beauty, and Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony. After the interval we listened to the Overture from Romeo and Juliet, scenes from the Nutcracker Suite, a very dark Finale from Symphony N°. 6 and a very pomp and glory 1812 Overture to finish, accompanied by a fabulous display of fireworks, with a stunning water and light spectacle by Aquatique.

Apparently Tchaikovsky hated the 1812 Overture, and I usually hate it – perhaps it’s what it seems to represent - but it was brilliant that evening.

If you have never been to a classical music concert then I would recommend this one, featuring the work of various composers at Glastonbury Abbey as an annual event. Just make sure you seat yourself away from the generators and in the middle of the natural amphitheatre fully facing the stage, so as to allow your ears to fully capture the effect!
review by: Jane Jarvis

photos by: Jane Jarvis

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August 2007
Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9EL, England MAP
£30 for Friday or Sunday, Saturday £28
last updated: Thu 29th Mar 2007


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