To answer Stella's question about classical music, I must first admit to being largely unmusical. I am tone deaf. But this does not mean that I don't like classical music. My appreciation goes back to school days, when Beethoven,, Mozart, Wagner even, were on the menu prompted as much by fellow pupils as by teachers. Pop music didn't exist then, so perhaps I was lucky. American musicals such as Oklahoma and Annie Get Your Gun were easy to leave behind. You do not, I found, have to be musical to enjoy great symphonies and choral works. A school friend took me to the Albert Hall to hear Bach's St Matthews Passion. Although chamber music was a regular item at school concerts, it was Robbie who later introduced me in a proper way to Beethoven's late quartets. I am still being prompted and reminded by friends. The Schubert Quintet is a recent instance. I don't know where precisely my love of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto came from it it has always been a favourite. I could go on. In later life I have had little difficulty in enjoying The Beatles but was never able to love The Rolling Stones. Joni Mitchel is a favourite, Leonard Cohen too, but I find that I tire easily of much music that is easy to listen to. Great pieces of classical music for me however bear endless repetition.
Jeremy Irons reading of Eliot's The Four Quartets on the radio this afternoon in a brown monotonous voice sends me to sleep. It takes a strong cup of PG tips to wake me.