Thursday 7 July 2022

Shopping, Eating and Concert

No navigation today!

It was a grey yet almost dry day but not especially photogenic as we spent the day in the city centre.

We began by walking up to the shops which begin almost just the other side of the waterfront main road. The water feature looks as if it has had a makeover.

Christine was after a couple of thinner tops for use on the boat and found them a little surprisingly in Millets at a bargain price! 

Mike was in need of a visit to M and S as he has not replenished his trouser store since before the pandemic! He was allowed to buy three pairs.

Whilst we were in that store Christine also managed to replace her main handbag (which is also showing signs of dating back to pre Covid) and a smaller one for 'just visiting'.

Finally we went to Argos to replace the little alarm clock on the boat which, despite being fed a new battery - twice - persistently refused to keep up with real time.

We had an extended lunch at Bon Pan, a Pan Asian buffet style restaurant almost opposite Lime Street station. Whilst it would not be described a haute cuisine it was just what we were expecting and looking for - a wide range of dishes and 'all you can eat'. All this was because we had bought tickets for a concert tonight so no time to cook a meal on the boat.

After lunch we walked back to the boat, passing this sculpture on the way. There are lots of sculptures decorating the city centre and dockside and we forgot to make a note of what this one depicts!

After a chill-out we had a small snack and then set off for the Philharmonic Hall. We had checked out earlier that we could get a bus from just across the road from the boat at the main bus station that took us almost to the door with a helpful driver pointing out to us when we had arrived.

Once inside we found our seats. We were handed a small sheet listing the orchestra and with a QR code to download the music notes. No programmes on sale these days!

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic were being conducted by their former resident conductor who had moved on just last year. He was obviously popular with both the players and the local audience. The music had been chosen to reflect his Russian heritage. In today's geo-political climate it was good to see that this music can still be listened to.

The first part of the concert began with a short piece by a lesser known composer, Baba-Yaga by Liadov. Lively but quite short and seemed to reflect his career history as rather unfulfilled by his inherent laziness!

The main first half piece was Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No 1, much of which was written when he was being sidelined under the Stalin regime and only published after its end. It is rightly a well-liked piece, covering the gamut of emotions and requiring the soloist to be able to switch from sharp, jarring notes to sweet. reflective ones in an instant. It was very easy to recognise the emotion and torment that the composer had to undergo.

After the interval came the final piece, Rimsky-Korsakov's  Scheherazade. This well-known but impressive piece give the listener plenty of opportunity to let their imagination conjure up all sorts of images as every part of the large orchestra play their parts, individually and together. The RLPO are able to create amazing tones and emotions with, at times, only just one or two sections playing.

At the end there was a justifiably warm response to the conductor from all around the hall. We really enjoyed every part of the concert. We caught a bus from just outside and were soon walking back to the boat. With little cloud tonight there was more light left in the day than recently and we could see across Salthouse Dock.

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