Sunday, 28 September 2014

The occasional joys of classical force-feeding

For two consecutive days every week I am force-fed an unrelenting diet of Radio 3; it is frequently a painful and perplexing experience. Although I play a number of musical instruments, some competently, some not so competently, I have limited knowledge of classical music theory and interpretation. That despite flying through grade 5 theory with an exceptionally high grade, much to the teacher's shock  - my brother taught me everything I needed to know the night before the exam, and despite being terrified into passing music o' level ("nobody has EVER failed music o'level with me", bellowed my disgruntled music teacher after I made a particularly unspectacular -and unsuccessful -attempt at the I hearkened, and passed). Still, I am not entirely sure what the Radio 3 presenters are implying when they state a piece has been played looking back rather than forward, or what they mean when they comment on a piece providing a backdrop for other more askance composers. And, I certainly have no appreciation of raucous bang, crash symphonies first thing in the morning, or women opera singers (apart from the odd piece here and there), and horror of horrors: song cycles - pleeeeease, for the love of mercy, no. 

However, every now and again Radio 3 gets it right, in my eyes, and plays some extraordinarily sublimely beautiful pieces  befitting the time of day when I am awaiting my third cup of tea to jolt my neural pathways into action. At these points, I rush for my phone and photograph the tv to capture a screen shot of the title of the piece so I can listen to it again later.

Here is one of said pieces from this week's diet: 

Oh, and Radio 3, what is it with your overriding preoccupation with Pergolesi's Stabat Mater? It's a great piece, but...

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