The Genius of Mozart: Listening Tracker

It’s far from perfect, but here’s the beginning of a listening tracker, documenting my reaction to the performances of Mozart’s music during the Genius of Music marathon on BBC Radio 3.

It lists Kochel catalogue references against whether I reckon it’s genius, wallpaper or just a bit duff. Thus far the results have been good. Mind you, I have been listening to Day 1 – the “Celebration” day – which features a lot of Mozart’s late works.

More work to come – it may change appearance but the basic premise will remain. Before anyone starts leaping to conclusions, remember this is ‘just a bit of fun’.

[gdocs st_id=0AvZelFWAy0a9dDlxTGtMVVNUbGtJX05sWFFiZkVLekE wt_id=od6 type=’spreadsheet’]

If you want to see the originating Google Doc, it’s here.

TV: Graham Norton Show New Years Eve So Television BBC One

A lovely New Year’s Eve show from Graham Norton featuring Louis Walsh (does he look good for 58 or is he at the same time have a slightly scary look about him?), a brilliant visual gag set up in the loading bay next to the studio and the adorable Alan Davies acting as the perfect foil for the seemingly incessant references to X Factor.

Excellent scheduling filling what is often a dead moment of TV on a usually unloved point in the festive schedules.

Nice work. Again.

Happy New Year from Abba

Here’s a nightmarish New Year celebration if ever there was one.

Abba’s sentimental nod to the passing of the old year gets played every year in our household.

Recently we’ve taken to peering at the accompanying video just to set us up right for the coming months.

The heartbreaking sorrow painted across Agnetha’s face combined with Bjorn’s obvious reluctance to look anywhere but through the window makes the New Year’s Day atmosphere in their apartment one full of bitterness and resentment. Definitely somewhere to avoid.

One of them needs to deal with the elephant in the room. That mess isn’t going to clear itself up on its own, you know.

New Year: Dinner For One

This is an unusual one for a quiet New Years Eve, but if it’s good enough for the Germans, the Australians and for most of Scandinavia (although there it’s more of a Christmas thing) then it’s worth a look.

Dinner for One (or The 90th Birthday) is a 11 minute one-take comic vignette featuring British comic actors and actress Freddie Frinton and May Warden. I know of very few people in the UK who know anything about it. Thanks to my friends in Germany – Rachel and Felix – I’ve been introduced to it.

It is a bizarre little thing – read more about it via Wikipedia – but charming nonetheless. It has nothing to do with New Year either and yet the sight of the rather pitiful dinner party with the table laid for guests for who have long since died, makes me smile. It’s the reality I like to think everyone’s great laid plans for New Years’ celebrations could turn out to be like.

And even though the slapstick may at first seem a little old and unlikely to raise a smile, the fact the entire piece is a slow-burner built on incessant repetition it does deliver. You will laugh. Or snigger. You’ll certainly stick with it to the end.

And for all the low-key, simple and cleansing pleasures to be had on New Years Eve, I’d be quite happy to let watching this work its way into my annual tradition alongside the rather enjoyable mental housekeeping begging to be done on the last day of the year.