Have you been watching Howard Goodall's Story of Music? As a school boy I was weak on foreign languages, and music was the most foreign of them all. It was just beyond my comprehension. Oddly, though, listening to music was one of my favourite past times. With this series, Mr Goodall managed to unravel many of the mysteries that had eluded me from my childhood and the series was absolutely fascinating. Actually understanding music composition remains out of my grasp...minor, major chords and all sorts of other nonsense cannot be absorbed by my brain...but the story was superb. We've still got one episode to go (thank you iPlayer), but the last one where he vented his spleen about Wagner really helped put the music in its social and political context. The clip on the link above is Stravinsky...chosen for a reason.
Last week we went to see some Pina Bausch.
If you've been daft enough to be reading this for a while, you'll know I'm a bit of a groupie having got hooked by the Wim Wnders film Pina. The two albums I listen to most on my iPod are the soundtrack to the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, and the soundtrack to Pina. That's telling. As part of the Cultural Olympics we went to see a performance of some Pina by the Tanztheater Wuppertal and frankly it was pants. We left quite disillusioned even if I remember rightly, we shared the show with the rather stunning Florence Welch and and nearly stunning Lilly Cole.
So we went with no illusions and few expectations....and were surprised by just how wonderful it was. All right some of it was absolutely barking mad and wouldn't have gone amiss in a Berlin cabaret show. German humour such as it is does not translate easily into English. However, the bits that were brilliant were truly brilliant....I would highly, highly recommend you see it if you get the chance. Though not now because the run has finished already.