Damn I missed it. I meant to have my iPhone in recording mode for the great moment. Figure 26 in the first movement of Mahler's Sym. No 1.

It's the first climax in the symphony after a long build up. Anyway, technically we're not supposed to have iPhones in rehearsals.  At least not if you're a string player.

The second rehearsal I had my iPhone ready but this time it didn't happen. It only happens the first time, the first rehearsal, with a fresh conductor.

There is a huge roar as the orchestra open their throats and let it all out.  It's an amazing phenomenum. And it's lovely to see the shock on the face of the maestro. It's probably why we do it.

That was the rehearsal on Tuesday for the concert on Thursday at the Barbican. It didn't happen again.


In June 1985 we were in Watford Town Hall. The maestro was Claudio Abbado and the piece Ravel's Bolero.

When the climax finally comes it is after one of the longest crescendos ever written.

Claudio was suitably shocked, amazed, and thought it wonderful.

It was a recording session for Deutsche Grammophon. Claudio enjoyed the roaring cheer so much that he wanted it include in the final recording.

He disappeared into the box (control room). That's where the record producer listens. 

Rainer Brock the DG producer was not keen on the idea at all.

. . . Claudio was insistent.

Eventually it was agreed that we could try it. The red light went on. We recorded from the beginning. And when the moment came, we summoned up our second climactic roar of the day.

The red light went off and Claudio disappeared back into the box.

. . .  Claudio came out of the box. The record producer wasn't happy. Too messy. Only perhaps acceptable if it more could be more organised.

We were to do it again.  This time in a more controlled fashion.

Still not happy.

After lengthy discussions "in camera" it was finally agreed that we could do it, but should be only if it were in unison with the trombones.

Another recording.

Still not happy. There was a problem.


At that time there were few women in the orchestra.

You could hear one female voice sticking out. It was first violinist, Gilly Findlay.

The women were asked to tacet.


You can hear the final version on the Deutsche Grammophon recording.

It's an historic moment. The only commercial recording of the LSO roar. 


Even if we did fake it.