This last of my lockdown playlists is unashamedly self-indulgent. I have tried not to make it too elegiac, but cannot help ending with the music which I feel has the last word. I am sure many of you will disagree, but that is the way with personal playlists.
It indulges because many of the tracks I have a personal connection with, either by being one of the performers or having connections with them or the music itself.
Half way through there is an English sequence covering 500 years celebrating some of the best of what this country has produced, from Tallis to Benjamin, via Byrd, Purcell, Elgar and Britten. I dare to isolate the land of the Angles as our siblings in the sceptred isle all have distinct rich musical heritages each requiring individual consideration. The last of this group, a setting of Yeats’s poem The long legged fly I performed quite a few times with the composer at the helm, somewhat scarily, although this recording is infinitely superior to anything I could have hoped to achieve. The Britten is a favourite sequence from the very opera which we would be performing for the last time this weekend, and which you will see and hear next year at The Grange: the scene in which the four lovers wake up from their nightmare and rediscover each other.
We open with the Bohemian exuberance of Smetana and travel as eclectically as ever via dance, opera, chamber music, jazz bars and Ocean Boulevard.
Let us hope that these past months may never be repeated although they may well have brought as much personal happiness as dread and despair. I hope my musical choices have reflected the full range of thought and feeling which you have experienced, as well as opening your musical minds to places less visited in addition to revisiting old haunts.
I look forward tremendously to seeing you next summer at The Grange.
p.s. my sincere apologies for no track notes, I am currently in the midst of moving house.