Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In Praise of Radio 4...

For someone with a penchant for melancholy, Start the Week yesterday was a lovely, erm, well, start to the week, featuring as it did both Patti Smith on poetry and Nicholas Cleobury on Mozart’s Requiem. Mozart’s Requiem happens to be one of my favourite pieces of music, ranking right up there with Devo’s Whip It and Dead KennedysCalifornia Über Alles. (For anyone who is yet to discover the deliciousness of melancholia, listen to the Lacrimosa whilst sitting alone at the top of a very big hill. Bliss.)

Following yesterday’s programme I feel I can finally make a confession, however. I never listen to it all the way through. I cry at the Lacrimosa but by the time we get to the Sanctus I am flicking through my playlists already. I have ascribed this variously to: a) the fact that I have ADHD when it comes to things of high culture; b) I have an aversion to seeing things through to the end; c) I have yet to resolve my class issues. All of which, you will note, focus on my own inadequacies.

So imagine how bloody smug I felt yesterday on discovering that Mozart wrote the Lacrimosa and then promptly pegged it. The Requiem was finished by one of Mozart’s pupils, and Constanza’s third choice composer at that, the first two having caffled at the enormity of the task. Cleobury agrees with me that the ending is rubbish. (Well, his actual words were ‘not very good’, and he then promptly withdrew the remark, so I suppose I had best not libel him or he may do a Gina Ford and start threatening to sue anonymous bloggers for making defamatory comments. Missed that story? See it here – it’s truly hilarious. Über nanny gets sensitive.)

So anyway, a collective of modern composers have written a new ending to be debuted at Canterbury Cathedral some time in December. I live a very long way from Canterbury Cathedral so I shan’t be there, but if anyone happens to go could you let me know if you get bored?

PS. This was followed by Woman’s Hour, and I usually do love it’s rather Home Counties brand of feminism. Today Martha Kearney was interviewing a psychotherapist who has written a book - ‘The Anxious Gardener’ - about the anxiety, loss and disappointment provoked by, yes, you guessed right – gardening. I have only one thing to say: stop it lady, its people like you give the rest of us a bad name. (And if you happen to be suffering from any gardening-related neurosis, can I suggest that you just get out more?)

The BBC – public service broadcasting at it’s best.

2 comments:

That's so pants said...

I'm usually quite rude about psychotherapists - only because I've had a couple of truly mad ones living in my building. They are quite possibly the garden variety that you describe here. No fan of Patti Smith can be anything but sane. Did you see her Meltdown concert last year?

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi Pants,

I think you are in good company. I'm usually quite rude about a certain type of psychotherapist too, but I think that's just a class thing. It goes down like a lead balloon in workshops, but it makes me smile. The profession is currently being infiltrated by oiks like me who have more than a passing interest in politics and don't see the two as mutually exclusive.

I didn't see Patti Smith in concert last year, but a friend of mine did and said she was fabulous. Of course she was.

Nice to see you on my blog, by the way. I enjoy yours a lot.