Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Today's classical radio presenters please note

'Or, as Humphrey Carpenter once said - after a very long pause – following the broadcast on BBC Radio 3 of a recording of the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, conducted by Britten himself: “that, ladies and gentlemen, is pure genius.”'
The late Humphrey Carpenter is seen above above, and the quote comes from the refreshingly literate website for the new DVD set Britten at 100; this contains four classic Tony Palmer films plus the text of Britten's Aspen Award speech. That photo comes from an Oxford Times tribute to Humphrey Carpenter, the opening words of which explain why he was my sort of radio presenter:
'A very senior media executive once told Humphrey Carpenter’s widow: “I would never advise anybody to have Humphrey’s sort of career."'
Other paths to the days when presenters knew what a very long pause was include How to make your mistakes with style and He was in every sense a good man, while elsewhere David Hemmings has a more colorful description of Britten's masterpiece.

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