Monday, 4 June 2012

Going dark

I'm going dark for a bit. Very busy month coming up. I'll try and keep Evelyn Dunbar going, though, over there on the right.

Musical highlights, both at the Prieuré de St Julien (a very beautiful 9th century chapel a couple of miles from where we live):

Friday, June 15th, at 8.45pm: First performance of my Trio for violin, cello and piano, by the Hoboken Trio - Saskia Lethiec (violin), Eric Picard (cello) and Jérôme Granjon (piano)

Friday, June 29th, at 8.45pm, annual Concert de l'amitié (friendship):

Madrigals from the 13th century (Sumer is ycomen in) to the early 17th century (Three Virgin Nymphs) via O my heart, my heart, my heart it is so sore: for I must needs from my love depart, and know no cause therefore, written in about 1510 by Henry VIII.

Duets for women's voices by Mendelssohn, including one apparently called 'GRUB' until you realise it is fact 'GRUß', i.e 'GRUSS' (= Ger. 'greeting')

Missa Brevis in F, K192, by Mozart, choir (my small choir Les Jeudistes) and string orchestra (from the Conservatoire de Perpignan), which I shall be conducting.

If you're in the area, I'd be so pleased to see you. Full details on, click on Concerts 2012

PS:  A call this morning from Clem Adelman, jazz clarinettist/saxophonist friend and impish humorist. He'd been playing clarinet at a jazz night in a local restaurant. During a break an Englishman on holiday interrupted his meal to ask:

'Excuse me, that instrument, do you blow it or suck it?'
'Suck it, of course. How else would I play it?'
'Yeah, I thought so. I must tell my wife. Thanks.'

Friday, 1 June 2012

Reading between the lines

As several Lydian Airs habitués live in the Reading area, I thought they might like to be reminded of the following gem in the tiara of their local heritage.

In 1851 there was a race between two travelling fairs, Hilton's and Wombwell's, to be first to set up, and thus disadvantage the other, at Henley Fair. Not far from Reading, on the Oxford road, Hilton's convoy tried to overtake Wombwell's.

A serious affray broke out, triggered by one of Hilton's drivers knocking one of Wombwell's drivers off his perch with a tent pole. This led to a mortal duel between Hilton's Fat Man and Wombwell's Living Skeleton, whose weapons were hardly matched: the Fat Man laid about him with a wrought-iron door hook, the Living Skeleton swung hard with a sledgehammer. In the ensuing general mêlée, the horses drawing the various waggons bolted, in the course of which both Hilton's and Wombwell's elephants escaped.

The seriously injured were treated in Reading Hospital, while the elephants were eventually rounded up from places as far apart as Tidmarsh and Tutt's Clump.

If The India-Rubber man smashed Mme Astragala's crystal ball (presumably she didn't see it coming) over her head and The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze ripped the Bearded Lady's stock-in-trade off as he swung past, the history books, and 'Lord' George Sanger's Seventy Years A Showman (from which this story comes), have unaccountably omitted to mention it.