Saturday, 27 August 2016
Music hath charms............
I sang as a very small child, and as a nervous teenager, and as an ambitious adult.
Recorded music, (on REAL records), CD's, tapes, on the radio and live in concert halls and opera houses has been the - I nearly said background - framework of my life.
For most of the time it has been a joy, a comfort, sometimes a thrilling experience, occasionally the road to deep sadness.
What some, probably most, people regard as music is something from which I retreat and while recognizing its place in the world will never have a place in my world.
Ask me the name of a recording artist, name a particular recording, enthuse about a well-known performer and we are speaking different languages.
Addicted to TV quiz shows from "pointless" to "University Challenge", I sail happily through questions on classical music from every period, but faced with popular music I sit in glum silence.
Very occasionally something will stir a flicker of memory and I will come up with the right answer while the contestants look bewildered. Thisis nothing to do with taste, merely that that particular tune song or artist was so popular in my youth that I unwillingly and unwittingly absorbed it into my semi-conscious.
Last evening I watched the 'proms' on BBC2 which consisted of a performance of Mozart works, including the "Requiem".
Despite loving nearly everything he wrote and having sung quite a lot of it, I have somehow never made the acquaintance of this work.
Obviously some bits were familiar but all in all it was strange to me - and I regret to say will remain so,
I know it was the last thing he wrote and that other hands completed the work after his death but that alone cannot account for the fact that it seems to me totally unlike anything else he wrote.
Perhaps it was the fact that the conductor had decided to sprinkle the chorus in amongst the orchestra, but it seemed fragmented and did not hold together as a performance for me.
Maybe my hearing and critical faculties are deteriorating, or maybe the heat and humidity of the last few weeks has got to me, but given a choice my first meeting with this work will be the last.
Or, maybe I am just a crotchety old woman looking for something else to complain about.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:47:00 am