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Wednesday, 28 March 2018


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If I had been there...I would have stood and applauded. At the wrong moment.

I share your pain old boy. While I can grind through math in a workmanlike way, the beauty that others see escapes me. That's why I was an engineer instead of a scientist.

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique have made passionate, energetic, live recordings of Brahms' 4 symphonies if you can find them. Don't be put off by the French sensibility:

Here's a taste:

"Apart from sex, which I can only just remember through the mists of time, there is nothing in this world to match music as the provider of maximum pleasure and excitement."

You've obviously forgotten Brexit.

My feeling on reading this was that the reviewer was more concerned with impressing us how knowledgeable and discerning he is rather than giving an honest review. Take a sentence like this: " One such was Rainer Honeck, the concertmaster, who comes from a notably musical family: One of his brothers is Manfred Honeck, the music director in Pittsburgh, who is one of the best conductors in all the world." Well, I have listened to classical music all my life and I have never heard of Honeck. He may be very fine but he would surely have a wider reputation if he were actually as good as claimed. I am very reluctant to believe that the VPO and Gustavo Dudamel produced a lacklustre performance.

"A poison gas attack on the streets of a British city is something up with which we should not put!"

Act II : Nerve agent on a Park Bench!

Act III : No. Neither a gas attack on the streets nor on a London park bench now, it's been left on a doorknob!

(23 "additional casualties" ... gas attack on the streets of London ... a park bench in Salisbury [isn't that where Stonehenge is?] Good Lord this sounds like CNN/Hillary Clinton hollering, The Russians the Russians!) Take a looksee back at all the breathless reporting [links provided] since the original post of March 7th:

Are we no better than America's Pravda CNN?

(Enjoy yourself SoD, I'm 24 hours on an away trip!)


Your consistent. People who are supposed to know say that musical talent and mathematical talent use the same brain functions.

One of my favourite pieces of music is Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony. I bought it for my dad years ago, and have my own CD now.

Near the end, there's a sailing high note by the soprano/contralto (don't know which - like you, I struggle with most musical terms), and on my version, something happens to the back of my neck, and I shake like a leaf, as it is so inspiring for those few seconds.

One day, I borrowed another version from the library to see if I liked it more. The soprano/contralto (still don't understand), got right up to the note, and for once I realised that I did know more than I thought, as she was flat by a milli-harrabin! My neck didn't move, and life became grey, and full of dust and decay...

Having paid an indecent amount for a ticket to the Vienna opera house to see a performance of a Rossini opera.I thought I would be able to see it through. At the end of the first part where some buffoon was shouting “Bravo” at the top of his voice we left. I like jazz but I did the same at a much lauded jazz performance whereby the phrasing of a guitar and cello were supposed to be sublime were utterly boring and a waste of time. So give me some stomping New Orleans trad anytime.

mike fowle,

I agree with your comment. It's also fairly obvious Jay Nordlinger can't separate Gustavo Dudamel from his perception of Dudamel's politics:

"A word, now, about Dudamel and politics: He has long been associated with the chavista regime in Venezuela, led first by Hugo Chávez and then by Nicolás Maduro, the incumbent. In 2013, he conducted at Chávez’s funeral. As Venezuela became more oppressive, and hungrier, many criticized Dudamel for what seemed his closeness to the regime. These included another Venezuelan musician, Gabriela Montero, who called Dudamel an “accomplice to a dictatorship.”"

That could easily be the basis of the unkind review and entire article. All the personal anecdotes and trivia are just filler.

Thank you, Hank, but, alas, I suspect it was more my 'idleness talent' that ruined my 'edukashun'!

'Scrobbers', you provide the perfect example of the truth that a little knowledge may not always be a good thing!

Peter, you are right, those people who 'honk 'n' holla' are a total pain.

Bob, your last comment crossed mine. For Dudamel to be a lickspittle to the utterly appalling Venezuelan regime does open him to criticism on the grounds that he lacks political judgment, a vice that could, and possible has, spread easily to his musical abilities.

David, that's a fascinating hypothesis. Please explain how a person's politics might determine their musical ability.

Bob, you will stay behind after 'skool' and write out fifty times:

"If you are dumb enough to pick political prats as your heroes, then you may be dumb enough to mix up a crotchet with a quaver."

David, how about "If you are dumb enough to pick political prats as your heroes, then you may be dumb enough to mix up a quarter note with a quaver?" The meaning doesn't change, but the alliteration of "quarter note" and "quaver" somewhat balances that of "pick political prats" in the first clause. It's possibly a bit ostentatious, but how often does one get to alliterate using "q" words?

OK, Bob, I will let you off your detention but there-in lies the difference between the written and the spoken word. As an ex-actor, darling, and I do mean very 'ex', I prefer the alliteration in spoken English of the hard 'c' and the hard 'q', but I tell you what, you buy the next round and we'll take this argument on!

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