In a new series, members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra share their own musical favourites...
Below, viola player Elizabeth O'Neill offers her choice - read (and listen) below...
Beethoven 7 has to be one of the most memory-evoking symphonies for me.
I was in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (my first job) in the autumn of 1986. We were touring the north of the country in October of that year and this was on the programme.
The Icelandic winter decided to come early and a raging blizzard descended whilst we were performing in the fishing village of Siglufjörður one evening (incidentally the location for the recent TV series Trapped. How ironic!).
Despite warnings not to return to our hotel (several miles away along a treacherous cliff pass) the management and bus driver decided to give it a try anyway.
The result was a bus without winter snow tyres and with zero visibility completely stuck in a drift and an instrument lorry with one wheel over the edge!
Eventually, a petrified (literally) orchestra were miraculously rescued one by one by the local mountain rescue and put up in a disused ski hotel. This was only possible because somebody in the audience had overheard us saying we were leaving in the bus and they'd tipped off the emergency services (no mobile phones back then).
Also miraculously, the Principal Cello managed to procure an assortment of alcoholic beverages from someone in the town, so a good time was eventually had by all after all the fear, tension and drama.
My choice of music would particularly be the second movement of the symphony with that gorgeous string chorale at the beginning...
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