Thoroughly Good Listens are first time-listens. They’re the thoughts that emerge when I hear a work for the first time. Active engagement with works of art. Special treats.
I was first introduced to Herbert Howells last Saturday afternoon. It was the perfect introduction. Unassuming. Throwaway. Blink and you’d have missed it.
“The Herbert Howells is amazing,” said Jess. That was the moment I was hooked in.
There was something in the way Jess talked about Herbert Howells’ sonata for oboe – an unequivocal enthusiasm – which made me want to listen to it as soon as I got home.
That’s what I most attuned to at the moment – people mentioning works or composers that take me by surprise. I don’t need to gasp or articulate that surprise. It’s more subtle than that. It’s more like someone flicking a switch and a beam of light cutting through the darkness. It demands attention. It promises everything.