Dazed and confused

I made it to Cornwall. Shellshocked. The train ride to Penzance had been good, but the cumulative effect of a lack of sleep over two consecutive nights was beginning to catch up with me. I stumbled around Penzance at 8.00am in search of a hotel for breakfast and then later when I couldn’t find any open or I wanted to go into, a cafe on the high street. Hot and a little dazed, I got on the train back to Bodmin Parkway where the lovely Simon met me with an air-conditioned car. Read more →

A free weekend in the country

Concertos are written for soloists with conductors relegated to merely managing proceedings.

Symphonies, on the other hand, seem to me like the pay off. In return for agreeing to a concerto on the programme, the conductor gets his symphony, his moment on the podium. There’s something raw, honest and intimate about the relationship between conductor and orchestra in a symphony. A rock-solid, long-term relationship. A concerto is flirtation. A symphony is a demonstration of true love.

I’m thinking all of this as I listen to Zinman’s Beethoven 6 with the Tonhalle. The man clearly gets Beethoven. This isn’t the usual tired and well-trodden path through a supposed-pastoral idyll I remember from Uni. This is measured lushness. Cleansing. Elegant, but not twee. Read more →