Saturday, 21 May 2016

The trouble with a city centre concert venue

Last night was quieter than I thought it might have been, with only some shouting nearby at 0300. Here is another view of our Oxford mooring, with the "Canals 200" memorial/bench seat thingy in the foreground.

Ally brought Josiah to visit today. After a walk around the city we had coffee/hot chocolate at the Vaults and Garden café, then Ally's sister-in-law Hannah came. We all had lunch on the boat, then Ally and Hannah went shopping while Jan and I did some more exploring on foot.

I spotted a small plaque on a house ...

commemorating Edmund Halley (after whom Halley's Comet is named).

Ally said we had to go to a certain ice cream parlour, so we met up at George and Danver in St. Aldate's. I was still feeling full from lunch, so I settled for a cup of tea (and a small amount of Jan's ice cream).

At 1815, with Ally, Josiah and Hannah having departed, Jan and I went to what we thought was going to be a service of Choral Evensong at New College chapel. It turned out to be a confirmation service, but it was very good with an excellent choir.

After this we had just 20 minutes to get to the Sheldonian Theatre, not far away, for a concert by the Oxford University Orchestra. No time for tea! We heard Debussy's La Mer and Bruckner's seventh symphony. The orchestra was huge; we had good seats very near the front. It was quite deafening at times! During one quiet bit in the Bruckner there was some rowdy shouting going on outside. This came through clearly as at the back of the auditorium there is only one set of wooden doors, which is not enough for good sound insulation, especially given its city centre location. Apart from that the venue was superb. The conductor held the orchestra together well, despite its size, and injected huge amounts of energy into the performance. We enjoyed it.

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