08 April 2012

Soong Choo writes: After a gentle stroll around central Seoul I took a smaller group to a Buddhist Temple food restaurant and had a feast. Made me think it wouldn't be a bad thing being a monk, but then I do like my meat so maybe not.

Now to official business, the concert was a resounding success, the audience were extremely attentive and we received a rapturous applause with a loud shout and standing ovation at the end of the Mahler 5, I guess it's that kind of piece where if you play well (which we certainly did), the audience really go through a whole range of emotions with waves of intensity and calmness.

My favourite movement is the Adagietto, which is painfully beautiful and makes me swell up inside every time I play it. I think I read somewhere that Mahler wrote the movement for his future wife Alma as a marriage proposal and you can certainly feel the deep love he had for her and the intoxicating emotions he must have felt and the pangs of longing. But crucially for me I think it's saying 'I can't live without you', and who could refuse such a beautiful heart felt plea?!

After the concert I wasn't really hungry but ended up going to a Korean fried chicken place my Korean friend took us to and I had far more than I should or needed to but it was so finger-licking good, especially when washed down with beer.

I have the Korean BBQ and Soju (Korea's number 1 drink) to look forward to tomorrow night and it has been a pleasure writing the blog on the Philharmonia office's iPad and sad that I have to hand it back. So, thanks for reading and I hand you back to Mike and Richard. Safe journey back guys!

P.S one useful Korean phrase when you just had the most amazing food is 'jook e neo' which means 'it's killing me'.