excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (181 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (181 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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I knew the site and watched the RFH rise from the big hole in the ground (I still have a few photos). I thought incongruous in its setting and the interior dull like sitting in a wooden box but comfortable. The boxes I likened to matchbox trays sticking out of their sheaths. The sound dull wind overpowering strings and the choir sound boxed in behind the orchestra. No Organ! With the festival closed people thought RFH would be demolished and cleared with the rest of the site. Also the wrong side of the river which I believe resulted initially with poor attendance. My 1st attendance 8/5/51. The RFH grew on me and the acoustic improved over the years. The opening concert with the Royal Festival Orchestra but what a feast of music and musicians since. Orchestras from Leningrad, Sydney and Toronto Polish Radio, The Hague [sic]. Beecham, Kodaly, Shostakovich in the Royal Box. Louis Kentner struggling with Tippett's 1st Piano Concerto and the negative response to his St Anthony Variations. J.B. and the Hallé  . Silvestri and the Bournemouth, Giulini, Beecham etc. 

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excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (181 words)


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