Off The Cuff

Kenneth Sillito at Friday night’s concert:

We’ve heard tonight the work of teenagers. Shostakovich wrote his octet at 19, Mendelssohn his at age 16. There is another fantastic piece for this combination also written by a teenager, Georges Enescu, the great Romanian violinist, pianist, composer, singer etc. It is incredibly beautiful and takes about 40 minutes to complete. I’m sure you will all enjoy it very much [starts to sit down] but now we are going to play Last Spring, by Grieg.

Audience roars and most of the ASMF collapses like schoolgirls into fits of giggles. The band gets ready to play only to be overtaken again by laughter, leading to the following announcement by one of the cellists.

While my colleagues are trying to get control of themselves, which may take a while, I should like to take this opportunity to mention that this ensemble is recording the Enescu Octet in 3 days time, so if you wish to hear it….please buy it.

More giggling and then Last Spring begins.

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