Thursday, May 07, 2015
Whoever you vote for, the government gets in
That EMI LP captured the then Conservative prime minister Edward Heath conducting Elgar's Cockaigne Overture at a London Symphony Orchestra concert in November 1971. The Elgar was coupled with studio recordings of André Previn conducting Bernstein, Enescu and Vaughan Williams. Heath was never quite as good a conductor as he imagined himself to be. But, plus ça change, classical music could not resist a celebrity. On another occasion he conducted a concert in Salisbury Cathedral. During rehearsals, the prime minister was growing more and more curt in his comments. The leader of the orchestra became increasingly exasperated, and eventually exclaimed: "If you don't stop being so rude to us, Sir Edward, we may start obeying your instructions." As in music, so in politics - whoever you vote for, the government gets in. Elsewhere there is more on mixing music and politics.
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