"Music In A Different Space"
by Colin Hake for remotegoat on 30/11/15

Experiencing the music of a talented and passionate orchestra, of any size, is a pleasure and this was the case on Saturday night at The Hospital Club with The Arensky Orchestra.

Led by William Kunhardt, who conducts with a relaxed passion than one can not help but find endearing, The Arensky Chamber Orchestra is a masterful group of musicians attempting to bring classical music to different environments and Saturday night's audience were treated to Steve Reich’s Double Sextet and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 7, two pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Introductions to the music through personal imagining and story telling from Kunhardt delivered an added, relaxed and lighthearted feel to the evening, something classical performances are often guilty of neglecting. This was not a stuffy, pretentious night of exclusivity, but warm and welcoming approach to some different forms of classical expression.

The Hospital Club, a 'creative private members club' in Convent Garden, was the weak link in the chain for me. I was a captivated member of the audience that was too often disturbed by the workings of the venue. Doors opening and cocktails being mixed in the bar, drew me from the wholeheartedly music that was on offer. The space also didn't lend itself to the 'interactive' or 'immersive' elements of the performance that I was looking forward to. Chairs crammed together with little room for manoeuvre gave an air of claustrophobia, and the multi-space venue with overhead lights felt more like a classroom than a unique creative space.

This is not to take away from the performance, which was sublime, and I think given a more intimate, less chaotic space, the Arensky could better achieve their aims of taking classical music to a 'new space'. I admire the youthful groups attempt to deliver progressive pieces in a different way, and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.

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