The folks at LSO St Luke’s have various ways of trying to attract an audience to its lunchtime concerts. And, apart from getting me in to write on their blog, my favourite is the A board on the Old Street pavement outside. It’s basically a pair of blackboards on which the day’s offerings are chalked in multi-coloured, non-fancy handwriting.
It could almost be one of the signs advertising lunch at the numerous street food stalls on Whitecross Street, the road that leads up to St Luke’s from the Barbican. You should get down there if you’re in the area round about midday, you can get pretty much anything, mostly the kind of food that ends up running down your sleeve or slopped on your shirt in time for the afternoon. In other words, delicious.
Not sure if there’s any Czech grub, mind, so no heady aromas to leave the Wihan Quartet longing for home in the manner of Dvorak in north America. A decent crowd, maybe 300, drop by to hear them play the ‘American’ as part of their recital, quite a few calling in for lunch in the crypt beforehand.
The Dvorak ends with a skipping, vivace finale that sends everyone scuttling (or at least shuffling) out at the end, although who knows how long their perky mood will endure once the afternoon’s travails get to work. As the crowd departs, the remnants of the music swirl around and behind them like leaves in the gusting wind. In the now nearly deserted hall, too, there’s a sense of things settling back down, ready to be shaken up again, like snow in a snowglobe… You know, I have a feeling this autumnal weather is getting to me.