My recent short trip to London is already history, but I haven't recorded its proceedings for posterity, yet. So, here goes nothing ...
Seeing how the tickets for The First Emperor are sold out weeks in advance, I didn't expect to get one on the day, especially as I didn't exactly show up at 0900. But surprisingly, there were still some left! Thus I made sure to succumb to the current craze about everything Chinese. The exhibition is rather small, but very packed. What's most fascinating about it is what you don't get, i.e. the first emperor himself, who probably still rests undisturbed in his colossal monument to vanity.
The other exhibition I saw deals with far more contemporary issues: Breaking the Rules in the British Library has for subject the highly creative period in European art before WWII. Unfortunately, this extraordinarily interesting period has been overwhelmed almost entirely by subsequent events and is hardly accessible to us anymore. It's a pity! The exhibition demonstrates in great detail how the movements of that period were not only relevant in places like Paris, Berlin and London, but also in more remote corners such as Belgrade or Wroçlav. Talk about globalisation.
The night before that exhibition expedition, I indulged myself in some truly seasonal Musicke, i.e. Händel's Messiah with The Sixteen at the Barbican. While the execution was certainly flawless, and the Sixteen actually numbered eighteen, the evening somehow wasn't as exciting for me as it usually is. Sure, the hall rose to their feet during the Hallelujah (an endearingly insular habit), and there was much clapping at the end. Still - maybe it was just insufficient accoustic pressure due to the somewhat remote seating I got.