Dude bones up on his Elgar
Watching a BBC4 rerun last night of John Bridcut’s thoughtful bio-doc of England’s iconic composer, I was puzzled by an early clip of a young woman conductor I had never clocked before. But, knowing the frugal way that Bridcut builds his films with few inessentials, it was only a matter of time before her significance was revealed.
Natalia Luis-Bassa is her name (here’s her website
) and the causes of her enthusiasm went unexplained, though it appears she leads a couple of orchs in the north of England and has won an award from the Elgar Society.
Home in Caracas, she was conducting the Elgar second symphony with the Simon Bolivar national orchestra and the zeal with which those musicians blew away the old pomp and circumstance was a wonder to behold. My eyes opened even wider when I saw the ruminative young dude sitting, lips pursed, just behind Natalia’s left shoulder.
bsp; photo: wikipedia
And there he was, Gustavo Dudamel, the Dude himself, soaking up English music like a citizenship candidate in a seedy Brighton language school. His first Elgar – who knows? But don’t be surprised of the man with the big moustache finds his way into the Dude’s LA playkit in the coming seasons.