Across the pond: From London, with love

Kelly Eshbaugh

About a week after arriving in London to study at Lawrence’s London Centre, I sat down to figure out what concerts I wanted see. What resulted was a list of 24 concerts in just the classical column. I was lucky I picked this particular night to assemble my wish list because there happened to be a London Philharmonic concert the next day featuring Christian Lindberg.
For those of you who are not ardent followers of the world of solo trombone performance — the two of you who are can zone out for a second — Christian Lindberg is a virtuoso trombonist who’s known for his amazing skill and unique performance style. The concert I attended was no exception.
Mr. Lindberg started with the Leopold Mozart alto trombone concerto, showing off his legendary technical skill. The piece was amazingly well done, but somewhat traditional. I mean, apart from his stiff-collared, David Hasselhoff-like shirt, the performance was completely lacking in Mr. Lindberg’s famous flare.
The second piece, “Cantos de la Mancha,” started out even more traditionally, with Mr. Lindberg using the break between pieces to change into a full-on tuxedo. During the piece, Mr. Lindberg musically and physically played the part of Don Quixote. He executed this role by hopping around the stage, singing/bellowing to the audience, stomping and tapping the slide on the stage, dismantling the trombone and waving it wildly in a kind of pseudo-backstroke. He even tied a “bloodstained” bandana around his head and, stripping down, eventually only wore a pair of leopard-skin tights, the Hasselhoff shirt and a wide leather belt.
During this entire concert, I was sitting next to a couple and their daughter, who was maybe 12 years old. At the end of the piece, the man turned to the woman and asked what she thought of the show. The woman replied in a very proper way, “Well, I thought it was quite good.” So did I, ma’am. So did I.