Saturday, 28 July 2012

Schuricht, Boult, Crab

A good evening. Sunny, but mercifully cooler. Superb crevettes (from Waitrose). Truly great crab (from New Wave Fish Shop, Cirencester). The crab was still warm from cooking when I bought it. I can have more, with 24 hours notice! My telephone will be busy, since I am a major admirer of fresh crab – difficult to buy in England, for some bizarre reason or other. And add to that unpasteurised Livarot and Pont l'Evêque cheeses from Normandy (Cirencester market) … All washed down with a good rosé wine. Finished with stewed apricots.

On to Gustav Holst's The Planets suite. Unusual choice, but I enjoyed it. Conducted by Adrian Boult when he was 89, if my mathematics are correct. Boult belonged to that immense, shadowy legion of musical performers who were not “media figures”. Few now know about Boult, Knappertsbusch, Horenstein, Sanderling, Wand, Monteux, Schuricht, et al. Or Kulenkampff, Röhn, Sammons, Thibaud, et al. Heard of Horowitz and Martha Argerich; but who were Cor de Groot, Samson François, Eduard Erdmann? It pays to have a recording contract with one of the (few) major recording companies of the past decades. Or a talented and expensive PR manager. The older I become, the more I question the conventionally perceived concept of “fame”. The evening ended serenely with Carl Schuricht and the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner's 8th symphony (1963 recording). Another composer without a loyal publicity lobby.

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