Sunday, May 6, 2012
You hum it and I'll play it
I was under strict instructions last night not to spoil it for the others. Let me explain.
As part of my ongoing education Jan decided to take me to a concert. The Northern Sinfonia, playing in Ripon Cathedral.
Grief, talk about the great and the good of Yorkshire. I've never seen so many Alice bands, pearls, ruffled collars and solicitors in mufti as there were there last night. The county set had all turned up in their finery and I felt quite scruffy in my jeans. They probably thought that I was one of the farm workers.
The band leader was Janus Piotrowicz who looked a real miserable git but people seemed to like him cos they clapped as he came in.
Anyway, the band played three pieces during the evening and they kicked off with Overture The Hebrides by Mendelssohn or Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) to give him his real name. That was alright.
After that was the boring bit where I dozed off twice. Jan was really looking forward to Mendy's Violin Concerto in E Minor. A woman came on called Alexandra Soumm but nobody seemed to mind that she'd arrived late because they all clapped her effort at getting there. Fair enough.
Bits of it were alright and it went quickly enough but what I didn't like was her encore. It was rubbish. It was so bad that the band didn't even play with her. They just sat and watched. I guess they were so pissed off that she'd arrived late and people still clapped her, I don't know.
Anyway, there was then a break and you could go and get wine. I assumed that people were getting bored by now and thought about drowning their sorrows but even though I'm not terribly religious it didn't feel right getting pissed in church so I gave it a miss.
The next bit was better (but longer) and Alexandra didn't show up for this bit either so I guess she had a bus to catch to get back to Moscow.
Symphony no 6 in F major Op.68 Pastoral was good, a bit long but good. Jan nudged me as I started to clap in time to the music but nobody else seemed to mind. This bit was written by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770- 1827) and, as you know, it's split into five 'bits'.
As I soon found out, etiquette dictates that you don't clap between 'bits', no matter how much you like it. That seems strange to me but anyway when in Rome.........
It all ended at 9.30 which didn't really seem like very good value to me especially as one of them turned up late and left early but everyone else seemed quite happy.
Jan thought I was very good and that I behaved myself really well, so as a treat she warmed up a Morrisons Chicken Jalfrezi curry when we got home. The perfect end to my night of culture.
Written by Alexander Federico Hampshire (1948-and still going).