Author Archives: Jeremy

IRENE SCHARRER

Irene Scharrer

Hymn for Today

Idon’t dislike all modern hymns – or ‘worship songs’ as they are called by the people who sing them – but I dislike most of them. The words are generally as unmemorable and as undistinguished as the latest teenage lament being belted out over the PA system in my local Co-Op. ‘Love’ and ‘Jesus’ are […]

TWO PIANO RECITALS – a famous name and an unknown

  I went to two piano recitals last week: one by a famous international artist, the other by a young man who is still a student. They could not have been more different. Nor could my enjoyment of the two events. The first was given by Sir András Schiff at the superb Saffron Halls, the […]

RIAS insurers – Ridiculous, Insulting And Silly

A few years ago, I was comparing quotes for house and contents insurance. One company called RIAS seemed to be a good deal – it specialised in insurance for the over 50s – but fell at the last fence as it couldn’t provide the minimum level of financial cover I required for one area. They […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Dec 15) In the Workhouse – Christmas Day

IN THE WORKHOUSE – CHRISTMAS DAY This is the correct title for the monologue / poem better known as ‘It was Christmas Day in the Workhouse’ published in 1879 by George Robert Sims (1847-1922). It is a powerful indictment of the conditions of the Victorian workhouse.                         […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Nov 15) Jack and Jill

JACK and JILL A favourite nursery rhyme but what is it all about? The origins are obscure and remain disputed. Some think it refers to Cardinal Wolsey (Jack) and Bishop Tarbes (Jill), others that it’s about Charles 1’s attempts to tax liquor, Jack being a half pint and Jill (gill) being a quarter. But I […]

TOO MANY BEETHOVEN SONATAS

The Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda invited me to take part in a symposium in Cremona during the annual festival in which luthiers and piano manufacturers from all over the world congregate for their annual exhibition. I had never been to Cremona before. The hotel was a stone’s throw away from the imposing duomo – the medieval […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Oct 15) The Vanity of Human Wishes

THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES The Tenth Satire of Juvenal was adapted by Dr Johnson (1749). It’s a poem of 368 lines, the first ten of which are: Let Observation with extensive View, Survey Mankind from China to Peru; Remark each anxious Toil, each eager Strife, And watch the busy scenes of crowded Life; Then say […]

THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Sept 15) Funiculi Funicula

  FUNICULÌ, FUNICULÁ Peppino Turco (Italian words), Luigi Denza (music). The song was written in 1880 to celebrate the first funicular railway up Mount Vesuvius. The English lyrics by Edward Oxenford were published under the title A Merry Life. Some think the world is made for fun and frolic, And so do I! And so do […]

CHOPIN – Introduction to the Complete Works

CHOPIN In response to requests from a few members of the audience last night, here is the text of my introduction to Warren Mailley-Smith’s cycle of the complete works of Chopin at St John’s Smith Square – Friday 4th September 2015 I am privileged to have been asked by Warren to say a few words […]