Thursday, 10 July 2014

In Praise of VW.

Greensleeves has to be the corniest piece of music ever written, right? ‘Oh no, not bloody Greensleeves again. Anything but that.’ Right. But then you listen to what Ralph Vaughan Williams did with it, as I just did after a long lay off, and it becomes lush and vibrant again.

Some of the YouTube comments you get on classical music are just as bad as the ones you find on more popular stuff, only in a different way. They’re so pretentious you could make a sitcom out of them. So very earnest. I used to be earnest myself once, but I can’t be bothered any more. Life’s too mysterious to get deeply enthusiastic about the things people do with it.

One of the comments I did like on a Vaughan Williams piece, though, was ‘his music makes you feel bigger inside than out.’ If I’d written that, I’d be using it all the time. But I didn’t, so I won’t.

And did you know that VW had a long and happy love affair with a woman forty years his junior, right up until his death at 86? Someone commented that he looked like a bulging old sofa, but he was also credited with great charisma and not a little energy…

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