Sunday, 13 November 2011

After Durham

First home for lunch and packing and then to London by car to take part in Passing Bells at Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke's, which is quite a place, and supposedly the best acoustics in London.

The occasion was put together by Judith Chernaik of Poems on the Underground. The programme: the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Chernaik playing Barber's Adagio, then Cicely Herbert, Carole Satyamurti and myself reading poems, followed by Bartók's Divertimento for String Orchestra before the interval, and after. Gerard Benson, Tony Harrison reading poems, ending with Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen. It's quite a mix. The Barber is well known, the Bartók is spiky and capering and thundery and lyrical and joky, and the Strauss is labyrinthine, ever more labyrinthine, lyrical and heartbreaking.

The poetry is generally pitched towards suffering and loss but in a lively fashion. Tony Harrison in the second half is making a rare appearance, granite-like, monumental.

This note is briefly composed as we are still in London, back later tonight after dinner with friends. I'll add some music or visual later.

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