National Poetry Day

The School Run poem, for National Poetry Day.

For all the mums, and all the dads,
The kids behind – glued to iPads,
For those who cycle with no fuss.
For all in the hi-vis walking bus
For grans and gramps in their old-style Maxi
For family friends who form a taxi
If you run beside a kids scooter in chrome,
Then use it yourself on the return journey home,
For those in all weather on bikes, all a-straddle
For the yawners who hitch a slow ride in the saddle…

(School Run…the School Run. On Classic FM. 8.10 every weekday morning.)

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Hodie Mealor est…

To paraphrase the fabled taxi driver, ‘You’ll never guess who I had in the back of my studio, the other day?’ Only Paul Mealor. Composer of ‘that one for the Military Wives’, the delicious, breath-taking ceremony-stopper ‘Ubi Caritas’, and all-round lovely chap. He passed on the wine only because he is going to be conducting in the Royal Albert Hall tonight for the first time. Who wouldn’t stay off the sauce. (Maybe I’ll catch him at the aftershow party).

Tonight, (and more to the point TOMORROW night on the Full Works Concert on Classic FM) we’ll hear his lullaby written for Baby George, if I might be so familiar. It’s called Sleep On and, if you haven’t heard it, maybe catch Hayley Westenra singing it tomorrow night.

I’d love to grab Paul back again to have a longer chat.

Wine or no wine.


(below, Stephen Bell putting the Royal Northern Sinfonia through their rehearsal paces.)



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Ashokan…but not stirred.

Just caught the rehearsals of a lovely arrangement of The Ashokan Farewell. (It’s always a privilege to catch these affairs). This are. was lovely – two fiddles, guitar and more. What never ceases to amaze is how the artists carry on regardless amidst ever-changing lighting checks ( not to mention shouts of “Are we alright for PYRO on that?”) Everyone continues – totally unfazed.

Downstairs, the wine has arrived (c/o Laithwaites, who have twinned each artist with a wine that they think suits them perfectly). This is always a popular moment. I, of course, will remain completely sobre being a man in training, whose body is a temple (albeit one where they’ve had an extension put in).

Here’s the pic of our ‘bat cave’, deep in the bowels of the Royal Albert Hall. Wine bottles, already all ready.



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…well, why not.

Early ‘polished-brass’ doors here at the Royal Albert Hall. The Central Band of the Royal Airforce are rehearsing on stage (or should I more accurately say – are busy re-fitting their well-oiled musical, marching machine into the RAH space, something I’m sure they’ve done COUNTLESS times before); there are beautiful piano sounds coming from Joseph Moog’s dressing room; and the Online team are tap-typing away in the bowels of the hall, busily preparing pixels and portraits of the days events.

Definitely calm before storm time at the moment.  A butterfly, nervous calm, now. But, later, a perfect storm.


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Daybook June 17th – A site for sore eyes.

There must be something in the sea air.

Music, perhaps.

This Friday, the 21st June, I will be on Aldeburgh beach to witness not merely a site-specific opera production but, you could argue, a site and time specific one too.

Peter Grimes performed on the beach on which it is set – pretty much, at least :ok, a small fishing town on the east coast of England, strictly speaking, but the Moot Hall gives it away. This is Christmas come enough, but in Britten’s centenary year, too, it could be  New Year rolled in too. If you add in the extra icing of the Midsummer Solstice performance

Picture by David Bradley @sciencebase

Picture by David Bradley @sciencebase

then, well, I will be hard pressed not to grin like a Cheshire cat throughout. If I’m allowed my fish and chips in, too, then that’s it: I’ll curl up and die happy right there on the shingle.

I’ve only been visiting Aldeburgh since the late 80s. Much like a groom who meets his bride at a dinner party, I was introduced by a friend and am forever grateful. It was already gentrifying then, but, despite the onslaught since, it still manages to maintain more than just hints of the misty bleakness which must first have attracted Britten all those years ago.

Today isn’t a bad day to plug ‘site-specific opera’ – and let’s face it, it’s not really going to come up in conversation of its own accord – because it is June 17th. Opera buffs and other assorted sad individuals might know that this is the day on which it all kicks off in Puccini’s Tosca, in 1880. In the same year that Classic FM launched, a production of this delicious opera was staged site and time specifically too : in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle; then at the Palazzo Farnese, and finally the wonderful Castel Sant’ Angelo. No sign this time of the infamous bouncing Tosca, said to have happened at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (‘or was it New York…’) when the suicidal Tosca was allegedly to be seen springing back up into view due to an ill-conceived trampoline place beyond the battlements. No doubt urban myth.

Totally unconnected save for the vague sea association, is the 17th June arrival in New York harbour of Liberty Lighting up the World (aka the Statue of Liberty) in 1885. Just a few years later and Dvorak might have seen it hove into view as he watched the steamers from the shore, something he loved to do – when he wasn’t rocking with the rolling stock in the original Grand Central depot – in his more homesick moments.

Final full-circle mention must go to Edward Downes, whose anniversary also falls today and who, as a young, post-graduate cor anglais player in 1945, took part in the very first performances of a certain opera when it premiered at Sadler’s Wells.

Peter Grimes, of course.

Roll on the fish and chips.


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Far from mellow Bellowhead. Day 5, and the other half of Broadside.


Back to this exuberant album with track seven, called “Thousands or More”.

This is an infectious Pete Flood arrangement. (Pete Flood is a percussion player with Bellowhead who lists coal scuttle, clockwork toys and frying pan among the instruments he plays). It all starts with a ‘trompe l’oreille’ chorus, all finger in the ear, before breaking out into fizzy, frothy stomper. As it were. Love it.

“Dockside Rant/Sailing on the Tide” is/are the only original/s on the album and, for some reason, somehow seem almost a little monochrome in comparison to the rest of the track list. They come upon you as if they are here for a reason – a trip to the bar or break for the band. “I’ll fill with a couple of reels, Ok!? You get the Guinness in.” Having said that, I did say ALMOST monochrome. For me, again, the tuba (or possibly helicon) rescues this, making it a fun “top and bottom” arrangement.

“The Wife of Ushers Well” is another on the sinister side and wonderful for it. A song based on a woman mourning her sons death for a year and a day. This piece prompted a long conversation with D1 about just exactly which time signature it was in. We plumped for 11/8, although I have to say maths was never my strong point.

“What’s the life of man (anymore than a leaf)”

This seems to match the Hogarthian cover the best of all on the album – you sense it was the one the designer listened to over and over before thinking of the picture. After a medieval joust of an intro, it sinks into a sombre chant-like chorus – there’s a wonderful Addams Family feel to the whole thing. And deceptively complex, I would wager. Were I a betting man. For some reason, I think it’s fair to label this song as somewhat ‘glass half empty’.

“Lilibulero”. If “What’s the Life of Man…” is the the dark kernel of the album, then this is the pumping heart. Yes, even despite its very own dark matter. It’s a combination of Lili PLUS… a set of words called The Farmer Cursed Wife and it appears a fine match, giving the impression (at least in OUR car) that this is what the album has been leading up to. It’s great fun, full of extra beats that make it a moreish minefield to sing along to. Unless you are, of course, innately musical, like D1, in which case you simply snigger at Daddy in the rear view mirror when he gets it all wrong. Mental note to self: DEFINITELY going to sing this one with our choirs.

“Go my way” rounds off the album and a lovely jaunt it is too. Possibly misplaced after Lili in that, if you are listening in sequence, it can feel a little anti climactic. But I her what you’re saying – woah, Grandad, who listens to albums like that anymore?

Verdict                                    : YUMEROUS!

Nourishment                          : A feast. A Hogarthian feast, with Dark chocolate cake, bleeding crimson raspberry jam.

Smile factor                            : 7, but devilish smiles.

Random guest statistic         : number of f’s volume best played at in car- at least 4

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Ciao, Bellowhead (1) Day 4 (late) and Broadside by Bellowhead.

Better late than never. I received Bellowhead’s “Broadside” album for Christmas and, despite the fact that D1 immediately requisitioned it for her own listening pleasure (she is like that – gestures the sign of the crossed fingers – with Belllowhead having done a music course with them in Aldeburgh) I have come to just one conclusion: Bellowhead are the reincarnated folk souls of one of my other favourite groups, the 21 piece, long defunct jazz outfit Loose Tubes. As I will be recommending them far too highly throughout this Music Diet entry, I’ll stop there for now. An die music…


“Byker Hill” First time I heard this anthemic opener, I rushed to see who the arranged it. “Trad, arr Boden’ it says. Jon Boden, the irrepressible fiddler and lead vocalist. In fact, many on the album are his arrangements. You get the feeling he is arranging for the stage here – well, of course he is: this is perfect opener for Bellowhead live, using what appears to be the entire band as a chorus.


“The Old Dun Cow” A fairly recent song by folkie standards and a beautifully intricate telling of it. Fab use of (I think it was) bass clarinet. In fact maybe I was concentrating too much on the almost synthetic sound that the b.c.produces or maybe my hearing is simply not what it was – but I cant tell you what I heard when Boden sang “Somebody shouted MacIntrye.” Entirely unprintable. There’s a hybrid Starsky and Hutch sax solo in here too which is wonderful. My all knowing daughter tells me that some members of the band don’t consider themselves to be a folk outifit – and the JTQ sax solo is maybe an example of what they mean. Hexquisitely hybrid. And definitely…so much more than a folk band.


“Roll the Woodpile Down..” is an instant jiver – complete with sawing fiddles set against an again anthemic tune. You cant help but move to this one which, considering I was listening in a car, means you have to be careful. The soundbite chorus is just so moreish.


“10,000 miles away.” Is another instant one which became the first single from this album when it was released at the end of 2011. It’s another melting-pot mix of folky..but jazzy..and the odd Level 42 brass fill. It almost squares up to you, looks you in the face and dares you, under its breath, not to be whistling it’s tunes.


Talking of Loose Tubes (as I was at the beginning) the start of “Betsy Baker” could be a Loose Tubes starting up. If the gentle trumping along of the intro is infectious, though, it’s nothing in comparison to the Sergeant Peppers feel to the middle section, which instantly brings a beaming smile to my face, something which in turn seems to ward off passing motorists, who give me a wide berth. The tuba…makes this song. Or is it a helicon? It’s in the bass, anyway.


“Black Beetle Pies”…is my boy’s favourite. I wonder if I should be worried about that in so far as it is a somewhat sinister subject. . (as far as I can tell…a bawdy house, where Black Beatle Pies WERE on the menu). With a fitting sinister arrangement, too.


Will have to complete the rest of the album on “Day 5”. Coming any moment!                





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Not growing up is ageless. Day 3: Matilda, the Musical.

Day Three’s music is ONLY late because I had to wait till last night to hear it. Then, it was straight off to bed to be up in time for the breakfast show, so….filing copy a little late.

This was my second time at Matilda, the Musical and it was still fabulous. I could nag on for far too long about the different actors playing Miss Trunchbull and The Dad, and how they’re not quite as fab as the original cast. But I won’t. This isn’t a review, it’s a music hyphen diet hyphen strange hyphen food-replacement hyphen system hyphen thingy. Hyphen diary. I think I make myself clear.

Tim Minchin’s music is perfect for this story. Even more perfect are his words in the songs. I’m doing this from memory, now, and without the aid of a safety programme so you’ll have to bear with me on this. Chief amongst his achievements, wordsmith-wise, are the numbers of Matilda’s headmistress, Miss Trunchbull.

“If you want to throw the hammer…for your country” Let’s face it, it’s not your average subject for a musical theatre song and it is wonderful. Alongside chants of “Bambinatum est Magitum” (children are maggots) Trunchbull’s personal code is a cascade of funny and clever words. “Phys Ed” is equally tour-de-forceful, with the ‘Crazy Gang’ style choreography making it even more so. The section with a yellow ribbon and the ‘dream’ sequence made me laugh out loud, despite having seen them (and heard them far too many times on the car cd courtesy of my children) before.

The children’s songs are life-affirming. “Naughty” is another wordfest which lights you up, from the heart outwards. And “When I Grow Up” is a classic. I hope people are singing this song in a hundred years’ time.

Any quibbles? No encores. Ok, so I was the lone loon, baying for “MORE!” from the cheap seats but…why not? I remember the National’s Guys and Dolls where we regularly got 15, 10 encores on Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat. Is it not the done thing any more?

Dear Music Diet diary: I’ll have to end it there. On the menu of today though : Bellowhead and the ‘Broadside’ album. Can’t wait.


Nourishment value : a banquet. Enought for a week.
Er, but I’m not doing that.
Smile factor. : 11/10
Embarrassed my kids by shouting for encore factor : immeasurable
Days missed updating blog already. : 1
Pounds flown off so far. : Not yet measured. Will do.

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An Eric Whitacre birthday cake? Day 2



For day two, I’ve put myself together a selection of the birthday boys music. Composer, conductor, virtual chorus master and Wild Bill Hickok lookalike, Eric Whitacre is on the menu for today’s Music Diet. I’ve stashed this meal in a Spotify playlist, which I will share just as soon as Spotify send my my login.


“Lux Aurumque” 

An EW corker to start, and tonight I have better headphones. They are not noise cancelling, so, as my listening is being done as The Littles have their dinner three feet away, I am blessed with a certain extra ambience that perhaps the composer never intended.

This is The King’s Singers version – and it’s fabulous. It’s like the full verison, only paired down and paired down. Just a perfect harmonic skeleton. The words instantly make me think of food : Lux Aurumque. Light and gold. Why food? Back in my school days, we were blessed with a Latin teacher who taught us how to use the AND by adding it, Yoda-like, at the end of two nouns. “So…to say fish and CHIPS”, I can still hear him barking, “It would be Fish ChipsQUE.” Perfect. Latin for Yorkshire oiks. “And…fish chipsQUE, mushy peasQUE.”

My mouth is starting to water. Not good.

This version comes out so perfect sung by the King’s Singers …it’s like sushi and sorbet combined. Sushi sorbetQUE.


“The River Cam”

To vary the diet, I have a cello and strings work next. This features the LSO with Julian Lloyd Webber. And if I started with sorbet, I’ve now moved on to a deep brown, meaty work: rare and juicy. Meandering like…the Meander, itself. It’s as if this has unwritten words, too. Or am I over thinking EW? Perhaps it the old ‘the cello is closest to human voice’ thing.

The ‘river’ begins to burble…then it’s as if we’re in a different county. Maybe…a confluence? And then it’s gone on its way. Suddenly it stops and a brief solo cello moment shines in the limelight. Perfect brown cello tenths, spread with fifths in between. They make me think of Rachmaninov’s hands, despite this being a cello.Then there is a simply exquisite spell of Whitacre signature clusters, complete with perfect, lofty notes as if played by a moistened finger on the rim of a wine-glass notes. I think I’m smiling. Under my headphones. As my family look on, presuming madness.

Suddenly, we’re in middle of a HUGE romantic theme – where did that come from.

This work is a meal in itself. With two minutes of orchestral cake on the end. I swear I can even hear the crumbs.


“One of the 5 Hebrew Love Songs”

Another sorbet, served in a glassy piano intro. I quickly look up the words and it turns out to be about snow.

“What snow! Like little dreams. Falling from the sky.”

It’s a lovely, deceptively simple arrangement. I begin to reappraise the piano intro as perhaps snow itself. Or sorbet.


“Ghost Train”

By of something completely different, an interval piece if you like, this.

I’ll be honest, I did hunt for Godzilla Eats Las Vegas – a fab, fun piece for orchestral wind band, complete with Elvis narrator. But it’s not on Spot. So, this early wind band piece takes its place. I dont know this one but it is immediately just as much fun. Scene painting, all the way – you cant mistake where you are. EW says he was captivated by wind band sounds from early on, and I know what he means, having had a couple of daughters go through orchestral wind bands.

Suddenly we are blown away with steam train whistles – possibly you could call it quite… Polar Expressy – only this work precedes the Polar Express score by a good nine years.

I’m concentrating now, instead of letting it wash over me. Trying to let myself get an idea of when ..

And all of a sudden it’s gone. It literally vanishes. Spooky!


“Litte tree”



I included this for two reasons. One, it was included as a poem in the Classic FM Christmas online Carol Service. Two, I love ee cummings, possibly as much as EW appears to. And three [“THREE… three reasons. I included this for THREE reasons] that I didn’t know it. Is it me or is EW employing some sort of aleatoric (chancy) techniques in his vocal clusters here? [By clusters, I mean simply the chords EW makes up which are full of lots of adjacent notes]/ The clustering sounds more scatter gun, but cant work out how he’s doing it.

And there are uncharacteristic seasonal interruptions, too. It makes me remember…we still have a crhistmas pudding on top of the fridge. Can we work that into the next meal? REAL meal, I mean.

This is not the chiller cabinet Whitacre we’ve come to know and love. Sounds like Whitacre MEETS…somebody. Something. But I cant work out who he’s met. Or what. Lovely, though.

Plum pudding substitute, perhaps. With…something else? Long woolly scarf?




A classic Whitacre, I think it’s fair to say. Here he is, all icy clusters again. It’s trademark – and  feels like a sort of light therapy – as much of his choral music does. It’s as if it seems to shine into you. Feel I need UV protection. Exquisite. I simply sit back and nearly fall asleep. The littles have all gone up for their bath so there is no background burble of giggles and arguments through my headphones. Perfect.

This is almost…ALMOST… my main course and would see me safely through a week…but I have saved my best till last. But before it, a different kind of music.


“I thank you God for most this amazing day”

I’ve stuck in a recording of ee cummings, reading his own poetry from 1954. Did I mention I love ee cummings? (Well, he is the perfect Yorkshireman’s poet – “Eeeee, Cummings!” ] I have to admit, I didn’t expect it to be so declamatory. But lovely to hear. Have never heard him before. An intriguing precursor to…


“I thank you God for most this amazing day”

This is the EW I simply cant get over. Even now, after I’ve heard it so many times. It’s my favourite and had to be included. It’s perfect. Everything about it is perfect in my ears. Floating harmony, seemingly unsupported notes, without a safety net.

Then, some UNIQUE ‘suppressed notes” (how else to describe them?) From the girls. They seem to be sung, then sustained, but suppressed…..while the blokes weave around them.

This is chocolate. Melting, slightly steaming, divine, musical chocolate.

The upward forming clusters towards the end – musical stalagmite – are simple but delicious.

I’m beaming again.


Nutritional Value         :   9/10

Smile factor                 : 10/10

Satisfaction factor       : 10/10

Failure prediction factor          :   1/10


Random Guest Statistic

Cups of tea left unconsumed during listening : 2



Wear shades while listening.


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Day 1: Just desserts? Serenade for tenor, horn and strings / Benjamin Britten

Here I am on D-Day of the Music Diet and it’s not a well-omened start. The plug on my Macbook is Macbuggered and so I am forced to lean on Daughter No.1 (hitherto D1) to come to the rescue with her dodgy old laptop. It’s either this or get down on hands and need to find the old casette copy of this piece and that’s somewhat unlikely. Furthermore, D1 has a smiley-face cursor which leaves a trail of cursor slime wherever it goes across the screen: this will have to be a one-off visit to this laptop, otherwise the diet’s longevity will be in doubt.

The first big decision is which version to listen to. There appear to be pretty much the Ian Bostridge and the Peter Pears versions available. I decide that I may well end up with a syndrome if I try IB, so Sir Peter it is. To be fair, this is the first version I knew and it comes complete with Barry Tuckwell on horn and, well, what could be better. So. Here goes.

The horn prologue is possibly the perfect starter not just to this musical meal but to any. It is composed as the perfect prologue, the…intro’s intro, if you like, and I am soon lost in a dreamy smile. But…what to do? I mean, by that…what to do while I listen. I had no plan as such as to how I would ingest my music. Should I meditate? Should I make notes for when I need to write up my diary? I opt for the former and slump into D1’s desk chair, still smiling at Barry Tuckwell’s quilted quarter tones. These are the same quarter tones that made me wince as a wary teenager, when I first heard them, but not now. Now, they are simply exquisite.

“The Day’s Grown old…” : It’s never occurred to me before but this is a string soufflé. Isn’t it? Call me food-obsessed if you like but this is Britten writing a giant sweet soufflé, with a Pears ‘icing’ layered over the top. At this point, I begin to amuse myself on the endless prandial possibilities of Pears’ name. Restraint, I think. For now at least. Besides, Barry Tuckwell soon enters and pierces the soufflé’s sides. Wonderful. Moments later, I am distracted by the thought, which has never struck me before, that Pears might have had a cold on this recording but I put the entire thing down to bad headphones. (Memo to self – must buy noise cancelling ones.) With eyes still firmly closed, too, I begin to see Pears there, in front of me, in the recording studio (would it have been Abbey Road?) with Britten himself conducting. I imagine them looking at each other as they performed, maybe smiling at each other…tipping each other the wink now and then.

“The splendour falls…” : Definitely, this is a bit meatier. It has seemed like all puddings so far, but this is grittier. Grittsier, perhaps, to borrow some USA food. It’s possibly the ‘Psycho-like’ string stabs which do it (hadn’t noticed how vicious they were before now). I will have a bath later, not a shower I think. Tuckwell is FIERCE in this movement, playing so ‘You lookin’ at me?!!!’, as if someone had just insulted his pint. Or spilled his wife.

(Quick thought – I will have one Britten per week. At least for a while. Well, it’s my ball – I can do what I like. And next week’s…has got to be Rejoice in the Lamb.)

“O rose, thou art sick…” : Delicious. Again, my imagination begins to race and I think I can see Britten, arching his back and putting on his ‘evil face’ as he conducts this. I’m just wondering if he dressed as The Flashing Blade too when…an Emile ‘Ubiquite’ Sande ad pops up on screen. No music, thank goodness, but a huge picture ad. Her stylist appears to have modelled her head on a Max Headroom ice-cream cone, complete with swirly, Mr Whippy hair. I click her away in annoyance. Away, Sande. 2012 was yours, you can’t have 2013 too. Back to the music and Britten’s ‘near-tonality’. I love it, the way he stretches and strains at the sides of the harmony, always pushing, always prodding. I love it. It’s so British, but with such a side. Like a pot of tea with scones and cream, only the cream laced with arsenic. Tuckwell’s ‘Doppler-effect’ horn playing pulls me out of the teashop and into the concert hall again, though and his horn ‘nails’ – a bit like the stabs of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater – bring a huge beaming smile to my face once more. Not sure that was their intent, but still.

“This aye night…” : This is the point at which I start to see if I can imagine the food value of the music. To see if it helps. What food would this be? But I instantly lose track and find I am back in the recording studio. I start conducting the strings when they enter with their suspicious sounding fuguey bit.
A Mettallica advert pops up now as unexpected as it is unwelcome. I might consider Mettallica in the future. But not now. They are clicked away. Just to complete my distraction, at this point D1 and S1 (that’s Son 1) enter. D1 knows I’m here so ignores me but D1 is taken with my strange geography, slumped as I am in the corner of D1’s room. He wanders round me, with a ‘Ooh, hello Daddy’, as if I were some sort sort of museum exhibit. Thankfully, a super-timely call from his mum downstairs pulls him away as if he were attach with thread. I also notice the ‘Nocturne for Tenor, 7 obligato instruments and strings’, further down in the Spotify list. This HAS to feature as a musical meal at some point. Perhaps later in the year.

By now I’m on to section 6 of the ‘Serenade’ and STILL….no jolting ad for car parts. Fantastic. I had prepared myself for the fact that NOT forking out for Spotify Premium would mean that I am visited by awful interrupting ads (‘Knock knock. Who’s there? Interrupting ads. Interrupting ads wh- “TAKE TWO BOTTLES INTO THE SHOWER? NOT ME….”) But so far – no ads. Fabulous. Barry Tuckwell is busy being a horn caricature in “Queen and Huntress…”, a section which employs every inch of the hunting ancestry of the horn. Makes me smile more. Great music…and women I like – both…make me smile like a loon.

“O soft embalmer”: and still no ad. Oh Mistress Spotify, you beauty.This is Pears at his most….PEARSY. I’m so glad I developed a taste for the particular tones of Peter Pears. I love the sound of this so English of tenors. I might set me up a meeting of like-minded people. A Pears Conference, perhaps.
It’s the last tenor bit and Pears truly goes for it. “Save me….Save me.” (Shall I listen to Queen tomorrow? Probably not.) And that line: “…TURN….THE KEY DEFTLY….” Wondrous. Not just this section, but the whole work has been leading up to it. Scrumptious. It’s perfect music. A perfect start to 2013

We’re into the ‘Prologue” and STILL…no blasting ad for carparts. Well done, our side. I’m temporarily distracted to think of Pears, in concert performance, forced to simply stand around doing nothing, while Tuckwell finishes off. Again, another ad appears, this time for Bruno Mars.
I think not. Not now. Maybe Holst tomorrow though?
It’s those EXQUISITE quarter-tones, again. Mwah. Lovely. And it’s like BT is playing them from a nearby cave. And we’re done. I lick my lips and vacate D1’s room.

SMILE FACTOR (out of 10) : 10
NOURISHMENT VALUE : 7 (too many desserts perhaps. Desserts cooked by Heston
Blumenthal, though: sweet but always with a surprise kick)
FAILURE PREDICTION FACTOR : 3 (well, I’ve got to be positive on day 1)

NOTES : Must get a better set of headphones. But bring on the Britten.


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