Friday, March 16, 2012
I'm picking up good vibrations
Regular readers will know I am a lapsed BBC Radio 3 listener. But yesterday evening's rare concert performance of Holst's Hymn of Jesus coupled with another rarity Strauss' Serenade for wind and that pinnacle of twentieth century music Elgar's Second Symphony, looked too good to miss. So I anxiously scanned the Radio 3 programme page for the usual above the composer billing for the presenter waiting to leap out of the speakers to aurally mug me, and drew a blank. So I tuned in with trepidation to hear an unidentified presenter, who for obvious reasons I can't credit, complementing rather than competing with the music, and, miracle of miracles, avoiding any mention of BBC New Generation Artists. Holst's Hymn was intelligently introduced and, glory be, the back announcement not only did not crash the reverberation of the final bars of Elgar's Symphony, but it also dispensed with the usual tired clichés in favour of simply identifying the music and the performers. And of course the performance of the Hymn and Symphony exhibited the authority we have come to expect from Mark Elder and the Hallé in English music. Can the energy fields of a presenter really have such an impact? Or was it the aura of Holst's heretical Hymn? Or maybe the Hoegaarden wheat beer that came with dinner? More on the good vibrations emanating from Holst's Gnostic Hymn here.
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