Mozart and Brahms have always been favourites especially Mozart and last night we went to hear the Kunliga philharmoniker perform Brahms' Tragic Overture and one of Mozart's great piano concertos (No 17) at the Konserthuset. Loved the music maybe not the concert hall. Though it is striking. It's the swedish version of a Greek temple, it's severity being added to by Carl Milles' sculpture 'Orpheus' in the foyer trying to seduce you from this earth plane into the portals beyond. Naked of course.
It's imposing inside too but surprisingly small. My first thought was that the interior looked like an up market school auditorium though I don't think they intended that effect. There's seating behind the orchestra with just a handful of people sitting in them on the night, plus awful lighting and a giant organ which all merged to create the sensation that we were at a basketball game or a town hall meeting. The orchestra was no school band though. It was brilliant. Really warm sound which made up for the severe and cold interior.
I think perhaps it's time for orchestras to bring in some other elements such as video screens to add to the visual experience permanently and not leave them for the occasional orchestral spectacular. Why not? Or at least some decent lighting design. I really don't think it undermines the music. You can listen to everything on cd anyway why not make it more a multidimensional experience when you go to a concert? I was imagining changing hues of colour or landscapes projected on the screen. Easy stuff. The vast majority of the audience was over 60 years old. Classical music is simply unsustainable unless it gets more people of all ages involved. The music still speaks to you so why shouldn't the environment be more reflective of the times. That's why I suppose these outdoor winery concerts and festivals as venues for classical music have taken off so much in the last few years. And why wouldn't they?