Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Trafalgar

Yesterday was a great day! We learned a lot, had fun, and enjoyed a great concert. Our rehearsals went well, but it will be a lot of music to master. This will be a great experience in Oxford this weekend, on so many levels.

I particularly was appreciative that they let Brother Wimmer teach about the English governement for a bit yesterday. This is such a fascinating time to be here, with a hung Parliament. (However, it is not hung now. The Tories formed a successful coalition yesterday evening.)

For the afternoon, Phil, Jake, and I wandered through the edge of Kensington Gardens and saw the Albert Memorial. Amazing! Not the little stone that he requested of Victoria, that’s for sure. I loved the bison on the America corner and the frieze of famous/important men.

We then adventured to the Science Museum and explored the ground level in about 45 minutes. It will be fun to pop in a few more times and see the rest of the collections. The most interesting thing we saw today was the first clock created to measure a ship’s longitude at sea (H1) by John Harrison. I read the book about his life quite a few years ago, and was excited to his first go at the solution. He was dedicated, despite Parliament giving him difficulties.

We ended up getting to Cadogen Hall early last night, so we took the bus to find a place to eat. We found The Trafalgar. It is now my favorite pub. Maybe I’ll find another good one to replace it, but the food and atmosphere were great! The smell was right, but not overpowering. And there was space for lots of people at the same table — a real win for when you have lots of friends visiting together.

Of course, the concert was marvelous. Even though our seats were on the side of the balcony, I though they were perfect. In most concerts, I’d actually prefer the ability to see the music that the performers were playing, it makes it much more interesting for me. The concert last night was the Tallis Scholars at Cadogan Hall. They are as excellent as everyone claims they are. Of course, they aren’t perfect, but things locked so frequently; intonation was much better than pretty much any choir I’ve heard before.

In regards to the conductor, his style was unlike anything I’ve seen before. I wish I could’ve seen the music to know what time signatures (or lack thereof) he was conducting. I could not recognize his beats or indications, but his singers know his motions very well, and communicate very effectively.

After the concert we headed back to The Trafalgar, this time with a group, to get a bite (mostly dessert). The menu said they served food until 10 PM, but that was obviously untrue. At least last night it was. So we wandered on the tube back toward home, stopping at Tesco on the way.

While there, Jake, Phil, and I bought a chocolate truffle mousse thing. We ate it once we got home. It was divine! I still would’ve appreciated dessert at The Trafalgar, but it was a good substitute. We also discussed the musicals playing on the West End. It looks like we will be seeing Wicked this afternoon. I’m interested to see how cheaply we can get tickets. It might be under 20 pounds! Amazing! Oh, the joys of living in London as a student!

And for your viewing pleasure, the chapel where we have class:

1 comment:

  1. So we saw this famous Italian conductor conduct this choir/orchestra one time at this place in SLC (how's that for details? it was a long time ago), and it looked like he was doing some type of jazz routine combined with a series of seizures. It was quite alarming...