Whatever the LSO is paying the weather gods it is worth it. For the second year in a row, the Barbican Centre-based orchestra enjoyed clear skies for its BMW-sponsored free concert in Trafalgar Square. The orchestra’s first violinists took to the stage in sunglasses and the crowds filled the square to capacity.
Led by principal conductor Valery Gergiev, the LSO played a 90-minute programme of music by 19th century French composer Hector Berlioz. Young musicians joined members of the orchestra for the second piece before Gergiev conducted Symphonie fantastique. There was the odd noise interruption — sirens, the EDL march and a bus-load of chanting Crystal Palace fans — but the sound quality through the mikes was consistent throughout.
People clearly love the format, which favours serious programming over Last Night of the Proms-style repertoire. If the weather keeps turning up, the ‘Open Air Classics’ concert might well become a London institution.