Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Art of Doing Nothing

A few weeks ago I interviewed the distinguished pianist and teacher Hamish Milne for one of the magazines I write for (and incidentally if you haven’t heard his latest two-disc set for Hyperion of short piano works by Medtner you really should). One of the things he said was that when he is asked, as […]

Damp Fireworks in Stirling

Even for those familiar with the favelas of Caracas, ending up on a stretch of waste ground in the middle of a council estate in Raploch must have been a bit of a teeth-grinder. At least there would have been sun in Caracas – and an audience. Here, beneath the glowering Stirling Castle, a couple […]

A Richly-Deserved Honour

Whatever you think of the New Year and Queen’s Birthday honours – anachronistic, an agreeable way of rewarding endeavour, a baffling lottery, public recognition for public service – there is something intrinsically pleasing when a name leaps out from the long list of those honoured and you say ‘Hurrah!’ At least that was my reaction when […]

England Expectorates

I don’t normally watch football matches. Being a devotee of the oval ball, the earnest pontifications of soccer pundits with their verbal clichés, and the overpaid, tattooed brats who play the game pass me by. To say nothing of the foul people who trot along to matches for the pleasure of yelling abuse without getting arrested […]

Right Royal Tyrant

Doco last night (Mon.) on George V and Queen Mary (BBC 2) narrated with his usual polished disengagement by Sam West (and to think I once stepped out with his nanny…). It told the story of the spare heir and his journey from duffer to family tyrant to national treasure. He really was a dull, […]

The Lost Romantics

Resurrecting the second division 19th century composers. In his opening number, the eponymous Mikado in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta sings of the music-hall singer who attends a series of ‘masses and fugues and ’ops / By Bach, interwoven / With Spohr and Beethoven, / At classical Monday Pops.’ Yes, Ludwig (or Louis as he called […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (June) If – Kipling

Every MONTH I shall be posting a different verse parody alongside the original poem, song lyric or nursery rhyme. There will also be the occasional limerick – which means there will occasionally be some words and content that some may find offensive. Be warned! I’m kicking off with one of the best loved poems in the […]