For God’s sake Nigel
Violinst Nigel Kennedy is in today’s Metro promoting a new series of concerts.
The tour features programmes of music by Bach and Fats Waller. An unusual combination but an interesting one for sure.
That in itself would have been enough to get me on board with the whole idea. But Nigel luv, you’re losing me in the response to your first question in the newspaper’s ’60 seconds’ column.
Is a whole evening of Bach really that heavy going? Even if you don’t know any Bach, it’s not a great opening line. It’s not going to prompt the uninitiated to think positively about the man and his work.
Bach’s music is utterly enthralling. While I’ve heard a great many people dismiss the early works of Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart as immature and unsatisfying, I don’t know of anyone who speaks ill of Bach. The idea of an entire evening would sell the gig, wouldn’t it?
But it is his later response on inspiration which makes for jaw-dropping reading. “I’ve always loved Bach as a composer who embraces everything good about music.”
What does that actually mean? A composer who embraces everything good about music? Are there any composers who deliberately go out of their way to embrace everything that’s bad about music? Are there composers who acknowledge the good about music but give it a wide berth? Isn’t all music – regardless of its genre – fundamentally good? Isn’t that the point of music?
Kennedy plays programmes of baroque and jazz in Birmingham Symphony Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Festival hall in London on Monday 10, Wednesday 12, and Saturday 15 September. Book tickets via eventim.co.uk.
Personally, I’d combine the two and settle down with Jacques Loussier’s exquisite reworking of the Goldberg Variations.