Mahler symphonies always conjure an occasion and a strong memory for me is wallowing in the majesty of the chorale in the finale of his 5th Symphony conducted by Klaus Tennstedt at the RFH. Then there was the physical jolt of the first note of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet with Mariss Jansons conducting the Oslo Philharmonic. The electricity of the performance held its tension throughout. I felt the same crackle which you hear when standing under pylons in the rain. In the audience we needed therapy for the shock – they administered three encores.
The deepest impression, though, was my first Prom. I had just started work in London as an impecunious graduate and heard that promming was cheap. So I queued all Sunday to hear Claudio Abbado and the Vienna
Philharmonic. The 'cellos projected the arching melody of the opening of Bruckner’s 7th so ethereally that I felt I could reach over the gallery parapet and touch its silver thread. At the end of the symphony I didn’t think it could get any better, ‘til the maestro bowed, turned … and encored the Prelude to Die Meistersinger. All for 80p.