More Dessical Thoughts

I loved Ken Russell’s Elgar.

Women in Love – was good, in its way. But it was Ken Russell’s  love for classical music and his expression of it cinematically, televisually, that put him into overdrive – for me. (And his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother!)


Gilliam / Faust

Terry Gilliam's Faust watch this tv highlights

Did anyone else see that wonderful Terry Gilliam production of ‘The Damnation of Faust’ by Berlioz on BBC4 on Friday? Astonishing production that I think many readers here would enjoy from the Historical Fantasy and Horror point of view.
I seriously can’t recommend this Gilliam production enough to Horror Genre fans (and many of the later images are Whovian!).
Catch it while you can on BBCi player.
You’ll know what I mean if you do,

Anyone who starts watching this must persevere, I suggest, until the various mind-blowing climaxes, even if opera isn’t their normal thing. Actually, although I love symphonic and chamber classical music, I’m not usually a great fan of opera.

PS: Essential viewing perhaps if you want to submit a story to this anthology!


The Efflorescing of the Ears…

…when hearing Classical Music.



“all art aspires to the condition of music.”

I’ve always liked that quote from Pater.

In its positive sense: because non-vocal music – for me as a consumer of art
rather than as an aspiring bearer of its condition – is the purest art of all.

And in its possibly negative sense of defaulting to the customary or something
you don’t notice for what it is or appreciate fully any more. The recent BBC4 TV programme about Gustav Holst made this point regarding ‘The Planets Suite’ (once
a ground-breaking work of genius that slowly became classical muzak).

And there is vocal music in the Planets but it aspires to the condition of non-vocal


Real-Time Reviewing as a ‘work-in-progress’ view of static art

posted Sunday, 7 November 2010

Many TV programmes on art are now following the style of my real-time reviewing (eg Ego: The Strange and Wonderful World of Self-Portraits by Laura Cumming and The Garden of Earthly Delights by Matthew Collings, both on BBC Four).
I have also been speculating upon the ‘journey’ that I mention in one review (‘Children of Epiphany’ by Frances Oliver). Was the journey *different* by virtue of the fact that I knew I was intent on publicly writing *about* the journey while making that very journey? I sense that public real-time reviewing — hopefully giving alternative perspectives to previous readers of the book as well as to its new readers — also creates a wonderful experience, yes, a different experience from what would otherwise have taken place, i.e. for the person spending time and effort in creating the real-time review. It is perhaps the new way to *read*, one that, *psychologically*, is now only possible through using the internet in this way. One of the more positive things about the internet, among a lot of negative ones.

For me, there is a brilliantly cruel essay – within the story ‘Memento Mori’ in DP Watt’s collection: An Emporium of Automata – i.e. an essay upon the psychology of collecting, the wastage of life in so doing, then when one is older the realisation that it was a waste of life followed by the self-justification then needed for the very existence of one’s collection and its interconnections (some real, some forced). This was a very painful parallel with my own burgeoning collection of ‘real-time reviews’ (with inter-connections direct, indirect or hyperlinked) now, today, at this the Autumn of my existence creating meaningful or meaningless ‘collections’ of words in the shape of writerly endeavour: those multifarious DF Lewis stories, vignettes, nemonymities, baffles, fables, veils and piques: some published, some not. I finished this story with a deep sigh…but a sense of satisfaction that it held a truth worth cherishing. Truths are gems to collect, however repercussive.

comments (1)

1. Weirdmonger left…

Sunday, 14 November 2010 3:05 pm

Elgar: The Man Behind the Mask

-BBC Four 12 Nov 10

Elgarists are real-time reviewing actual Elgar music as we watch them as they listen…


Magic of Music

posted Sunday, 25 April 2010

Just been to this concert by the Clacton Concert Orchestra: round the corner from Clacton-on-Sea pier.

I managed to get a seat not far from the various soloists: Jess Barton (clarinet – Mozart), Tracey Simmons (violin – Bach) and Michael Hurren (piano – Shostakovich).

A musical experience to remember. The church acoustics and the orchestra were aberrantly productive, and I was particularly inspired by the almost Philip Glass-like rhythm of the D-Bass and cellos in the Bach. Mr Hurren’s red T-shirt and masterful managing of some thoughtful and masquerading piano notes still echo in my mind as I write this. Tracey Simmons’ Bach soared above even the seagulls. Jess’s Mozart was often deeply timbred and, to my non-technical listening, delightful. You can’t often experience such tenderly tentative as well as puckishly confident sounds so coolly complementing each other in an unexpected seaside scenario. You can’t experience them even in the best of concert halls in the capitals of the world. Only Clacton or places like it can distil beauty from the unlikeliest of converging amateur and professional opportunities.


Stabat Mater
posted Sunday, 5 April 2009

Nemonymous's avatar

After finishing my Villa Desiree review yesterday evening, I ended a perfect day by going with my wife to a live performance of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (with organ) – near Clacton pier (where they’ve just erected a new helter skelter and further out at sea the first wind turbine!) – a performance given by the Clacton Choir together with professional soloists. I’ve loved this music for years (it lasts one and half hours in total) (although I rarely love Dvorak otherwise) and I was surprised to find, during an interval drink, that many in the audience had not heard it before but all were amazed how beautifully poignant it is. A mistake was made towards the end of one movement, so they repeated it from the beginning, but that was good – it was my favourite movement! A wonderful performance over all.


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