Orchestra - The LSO: A Century of Triumph and Turbulence by Richard Morrison - review by Patrick O'Connor

Patrick O'Connor

On a String and a Prayer

Orchestra - The LSO: A Century of Triumph and Turbulence


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IT WAS A row over money that prompted the founding players of the London Symphony Orchestra to form their organisation, and it is financial crises of one sort or another that provide the constant theme through Richard Morrison's affectionate and often surprising account of the orchestra's first century. This is the band that gave the first performances of Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony and Tippett's Concerto for Orchestra, but the LSO is also on the credits for such films as Cardboard Cavalier, Return of the Jedi and (one hopes they got the contract right) Star Wan.

'Gentlemen, in future there will be no deputies; good morning.' This was the curt statement that caused the players in Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra to walk out. The 'deputy' system meant that if a player in the orchestra was unable to come for a rehearsal, or even a performance,

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