Anybody catching a train to the Continent at lunchtime today would have enjoyed as they departed the unofficial anthem of the Europhiles: Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. The final movement of the Ninth was performed on the concourse at St Pancras International by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson with soloists Ailish Tynan, Daniela Lehner, Allan Clayton and James Rutherford. This is clearly the future of classical music: forget concert halls and not clapping between movements and go for impromptu performances under the Olympic rings at stations.
Of course the Daily Mail would get all huffy if the BBC did things just for fun so it’s worth stressing that this experience was recorded for broadcast on Radio 3 and will no doubt feature in some form in the BBC Four series on the symphony that starts on November 3. My heart sank a little to hear that Simon Russell-Beale has been all over the world filming for it (lovely, talented man that he is) as I am fearful that we all now have to go on some bloody journey rather than just hear beautiful music and have it put into context.
But enough of my churlishness. I should just remember how lovely it felt to be part of this today, even if my mouth did remain resolutely shut. A songsheet was provided but really the Daily Mail will genuinely have something to complain about should the BBC ever broadcast the sound of my singing. My photo shows the soloists descending the escalators, it’s one of a few I’ll be sticking on my flickr later.