Archive for March 1, 2019

R.I.P. André Previn (1929-2019)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on March 1, 2019 by telescoper

Seven years ago – can it have been so long? – I attended a concert at St David’s Hall in Cardiff that included a performance of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony. I enjoyed the performance so much that at the end of my blog post about the evening I asked for recommendations of a good recording. The clear favourite – which I bought straight away – was by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by André Previn.

Last night I heard that André Previn had passed away and I wanted to post a little tribute to him. Naturally, I thought of posting that Morecambe and Wise Sketch from 1971, which I love, but almost every website that has mentioned André Previn has included that, so instead I thought I’d post the Third Movement (Adagio) of the Rachmaninov Symphony I heard those years ago. It’s a gorgeous performance of a gorgeous work and, I think, a fitting tribute to a great pianist, both in classical and jazz idioms, conductor and composer who brought music (and laughter) to so many people.

R.I.P. André Previn (1929-2019)

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A Poem for St David’s Day

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on March 1, 2019 by telescoper

It’s St David’s Day today, and a lovely spring morning it is, so I wish you all a big

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

 

Gratuitous Picture of some Daffodils near the Maynooth University Library.

It has become a bit of a St David’s Day tradition on this this blog to post a piece of verse by the great Welsh poet R.S. Thomas. An Anglican clergyman, Thomas was vicar at St Hywyn’s Church (which was built 1137) in Aberdaron at the western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula. In this, one of his most famous poems, he speaks eloquently and movingly of the frustrations of his calling.

I was vicar of large things
in a small parish. Small-minded
I will not say, there were depths
in some of them I shrank back
from, wells that the word “God”
fell into and died away,
and for all I know is still
falling. Who goes for water
to such must prepare for a long
wait. Their eyes looked at me
and were the remains of flowers
on an old grave. I was there,
I felt, to blow on ashes
that were too long cold. Often,
when I thought they were about
to unbar to me, the draught
out of their empty places
came whistling so that I wrapped
myself in the heavier clothing
of my calling, speaking of light and love
in the thickening shadows of their kitchens