Sunday, 10 August 2008

An Enigma Wrapped in a Concert

Much as I admire and am really grateful to the BBC for supporting composers when it is terribly difficult to get a new piece played here, let alone actually be paid for it, I didn’t really like Prom 33. Beecham joked once (yes, I know it's hackneyed, but there is still some truth in it) “the English don’t really like music, they just like the noise it makes.”

Maybe because I’m only half-English (despite the name, shan’t tell you what the other half is, you’ll have to guess) I didn’t like the noise Gaudete made, especially early on. But then I’m a poetry sort of person so as a rule I prefer to read Ted Hughes. I did enjoy the musical connections in the first half, though; very clever, I thought. Keeps the brain occupied, even when the emotions might not be. I can see it deserved the applause, though.

I had found Michael Berkeley’s ‘Slow Dawn’ rather enigmatic; and the Enigma Variations, though a very traditional conception (a relief, no doubt, to all those who, wrongly, I think, hated the Elgar 1) was very well played. Now, I really must get back to my neglected pieces . . .And get some proper food into me, which I've been missing this weekend trying to catch up. Music may be the food of love, but even loving the Proms is turning out not to be sufficiently nutritious . . .

R3 Relay

(You'll see I've added a Google Search box for this blog over in the sidebar, since the 'Labels' list is getting rather unwieldy already, and is probably going to become even more so before we're finished, if it doesn't end up totally out of control. Hope it helps to track things down that might not jump out at you immediately, or you've mislaid.)


colin said...
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Prommer said...

(Only because it was an offer of a free ticket to a Prom, which of course is now out of date.

I'm not censoring anybody!