This morning I desperately want to hear the Countess' aria from Act 2 of The Marriage of Figaro. With the help of iTunes and the voucher which still has credit from Christmas, it arrive in minutes sung by Jorma Hynninen supported by the Vienna Philharmonic. After listening to it twice I miss its
context; on its own it begins to irritate. I want narrative and continuity. So it is that choosing a piece of music at a given moment however wide and varied the choice, is a problem. Better, far better if you attend a concert hall or opera house for the full monty. Second best is to be sitting comfortably and play the opera, symphony or chamber piece uninterrupted. Still, I think I'll listen to the Countess again...surrounded if possible by silence, before and after.
A programme devoted to the late Colin Davies last night draws on interviews which he gave during his long career. Among many delights the conductor reflects at one point, "If I were Prime Minister, before beginning work, I would make members of Parliament sit down and listen to the first movement of a string quartet. It would stop them talking." Something makes me cheer out loud. I'm still cheering.