Hi everybody. Having attended two family funerals this week, I'm looking forward to an extended period in which nobody I know dies. You go carefully out there, you hear!
Before the second funeral, I took an evening off for a concert at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, with the wonderful CBSO. On the bill were Elgar's Falstaff, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Respighi's The Pines of Rome. The Elgar and Resphigi were pretty enough, though rather drifting. The Prokofiev was nothing short of stunning though. Described in 1913 as 'barbaric', the piece swings from tender to brutal and back again. The soloist was Freddy Kempf: despite sporting a terrible floppy fringe, his rendition was one of the most passionate and convincing performances I've ever seen.
Here's somebody else doing it:
And next day it was off to my aunt's funeral, alongside a huge congregation including pretty much everybody I saw on Monday at my grandmother's requiem mass. As before it was dignified and moving… apart from the sermon, which made even my godless soul feel sorry for God, particularly when the priest described Jesus as 'chillaxing' with his friends. It reminded me of this awful (and, I hope, spoof) video.
And now it's back to work: got a two-hour lecture on modernism and the Bright Young Things to write…