Friday, 23 October 2020

Arriving damply at St John's, Smith Square, yesterday, it struck me that lunchtime concerts during the pandemic are akin to Myra Hess's concerts at the National Gallery during the war for keeping the spirits up. I'm not the most musical person but I've been trying to go to something every week - and this was the most ambitious so far with the entire string section of the Royal Philharmonic rather than a single lonely cellist/pianist. And the music - all C20-C21 British works - was exquisite. Finzi's Eclogue brought tears to my eyes.
I'll admit that I'd never even heard of Doreen Carwithen (1922-2003) whose career was overshadowed by her husband's(same old story!) but who composed the scores for over thirty films;I just love the title of her overture ODTAA ... One Damn Thing After Another. Yesterday we heard her Concerto for piano and string orchestra: 'Rachmaninoff might have written it if he had belonged to the same stable as Vaughan Williams,' said a BBC producer in 1952 - and that was what intrigued me enough to buy my ticket! So lovely to see a queue to get in and a concert hall full of people as damp as I was - it felt like London was coming back to life.


Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Oh how lovely for you!

I like the look of Doreen; she looks like she'd be fun!

Take care

Mary said...

I liked the look of Doreen, too - I'd never heard of her before, had you? Not that I'm very knowledgeable about music!

Marybel Tracey said...

I heard this wonderful piece for the very first time a couple of years ago. I was living with the real possibility that my beloved sister was dying. It moved me and stilled me in equal measure. The tears flow now whenever I hear it because last December death stole my sister from me. It is remarkable too that despite the tears and the sadness this piece uplifts my soul and I feel better for hearing it. Every time.

Mary said...

Hello, Marybel. I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. Yes, there is something very poignant about this music - sad and hopeful at the same time. I found it very moving that day - that people were coming together to listen to music and that somehow the city was bloodied but unbroken. Oh well, no concerts this week!
I think you're new here? Hope we'll be seeing you again - although the poor old blog is limping along with not much to write about!