Rainer Hersch conducts All Classical Music Explained: The Orchestra!
(Pleasance Over the Road)

Reviewed by The High Priestess

Although this show is pitched at those who have some knowledge of classical music, it is enjoyable for anyone who has had to sit through a concert working out where you are supposed to clap, be it school hall or Royal Albert Hall.

Rainer Hersch's style is not so much irreverent as apologetic about classical music snobbery - he and his orchestra of 7 (I think) musicians take us on a musical odyssey lampooning such greats as the William Tell Overture, and the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony (the Hovis music to you).

Highlights for me included the Choral Symphony on what must be some of the last working stylophones in existence (this actually sounded quite good!), a spot-on parody of the kind of modern cacophany orchestras have to do to get a grant these days, various famous pieces "without the boring bits" and what a conductor looks like from the orchestra's side.

If you have had any exposure to "serious" music, even if it's only the recorder at school, then you will find something to laugh at. However, this is aimed mainly at those of us who know how to hum the classical adverts and bits from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. You don't really need much more experience than that - Rainer explains the rest, as the show's title points out.

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