DAY 2, MAY 26: RECONNECTING WITH ALBERT, LUNCHEON AT VERDI’S, AND GODAWFUL CONCERT AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL
WALK THROUGH HYDE PARK TO LUNCHEON AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL REVEALS ANOTHER CONNECTION TO ALBERT
Another beautiful warm day (82F) in London. We enjoyed our walk through the Hyde Park and a luncheon at the Verdi’s restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall. It features live music on Fridays.
On our way to the Royal Albert Hall, while strolling through the park, we came upon a plaque on the ground marking the site of the Crystal Palace, a brainchild of Prince Albert (one of my former incarnations), husband of Queen Victoria (an Elizabeth’s former incarnation).
I have been coming to Hyde Park for over 40 years. Yet this was the first time that I encountered this historic marker. Clearly, this was another Divine guidance.
Crystal Palace, giant glass-and-iron exhibition hall in Hyde Park, London, that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851. The structure was taken down and rebuilt (1852–54) at Sydenham Hill (now in the borough of Bromley), at which site it survived until 1936.
In 1849, Prince Albert, president of the Royal Society of Arts, conceived the idea of inviting international exhibitors to participate in an exposition. Plans were developed and the necessary funds speedily raised, with Victoria herself heading the list of subscribers. The exhibition opened in the Crystal Palace on May 1, 1851.
The Crystal Palace, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, was a remarkable construction of prefabricated parts. It consisted of an intricate network of slender iron rods sustaining walls of clear glass. The main body of the building was 1,848 feet (563 metres) long and 408 feet (124 metres) wide; the height of the central transept was 108 feet (33 metres). The construction occupied some 18 acres (7 hectares) on the ground, while its total floor area was about 990,000 square feet (92,000 square meters, or about 23 acres [9 hectares]). On the ground floor and galleries there were more than 8 miles (13 km) of display tables.
Some 14,000 exhibitors participated, nearly half of whom were non-British. France sent 1,760 exhibits and the United States 560. Among the American exhibits were false teeth, artificial legs, Colt’s repeating pistol, Goodyear India rubber goods, chewing tobacco, and McCormick’s reaper.
The lunchtime concert was just okay. Nothing special. I expected something operatic in a place named “Verdi’s.” Instead we got some modern ballads that sounded like the blues.
This evening, we are attending a concert at the main concert hall by Hacienda Classical.
“This is not my planet anymore” (Bob)
Hacienda Classical: To call the sounds that came out of those symphony instruments “music,” would be the same as saying donkey’s braying is an operatic aria
This was supposed to be one of the highlights of our visit to London. The earlier concerts we had attended at the Royal Albert Hall, the world’s premier concert venue in my opinion, have always been that – the best. Alas, our tonight’s experience at the Hacienda Classical show would qualify as one of the worst.
To call this “music” would be an insult to all the great composers who had preceded the 21st century of music. It was bedlam. It was earsplitting noise with deafening beat. The “songs” had no beginnings or endings. It was just a continuous earsplitting noise. m
Needless to say, we left early. Once outside this magnificent edifice where Elizabeth could actually hear me, I said, “want to know what my final thoughts were?”
“THIS IS NOT MY PLANET ANYMORE,” I said.
This whole experience was valuable in that sense. We now know what aliens would feel like is they arrived here and heard what the 21st century generations consider “music.”
Judging by the amount of liquor and beer we saw most people gulp down from their plastic cups, it would be a safe guess that they didn’t care about the music anyway. They were there to party and pander to their most basest instincts.
On our way to dinner afterward, I apologized to Elizabeth for having us sucked into something like this. What fooled me was the picture of the band featuring all symphony orchestra instruments. And the word “classical” in their name.
To call the sounds that came out of those symphony instruments “music” would be the same as saying that a donkey’s braying was like operatic arias.
Well, as I said, at least it was a memorable experience.
Here’s a short video clip (24 sec) so you can judge for yourself.
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