This evening at 8pm bbc r4 we are treat to an hours radio documentary of Richard Hoggart and his book ‘The Uses of Literacy’.
I have the book here on the shelves, purchased I reckon forty two years ago. It fit in well with my George Orwell, Miller Arthur and Henry; art and architecture and SWP Paul Foot booklets. All made good sense and indicated a world beyond …
Theres lots we can learn from him and lots that is revealed in the not very distant past ie seventy years when Britain was so very hide-bound, so ossified that to be working class, or even worse labouring class meant a phenomenal trajectory for the bright child to ‘do better’. Labouring and working folk were kept in their own areas of town, cross-over was not invited; yet self made men were accepted, if their new earned money was sufficient. We spoke differently, yet our so-called betters inherit an already customed superiority, perhaps sometimes warranted sometimes not. If you take all the warm unctious syrupy-ness out of Dickens then it is harrowing and i reckon is closer to what it really would have been. Mayhew etc…
Sometimes I think little has changed.
Postscript, this evenings radio prog reinforces yet again that rhetoric is much needed as a curriculum subject in State Schools. And music too, which in the UK is now being taken apart. Morning Assembly classical music has stayed with me throughout my life, those couple of dozen tracks were certainly not lost on me, Pearl Fishers, Fingals Cave, Beethoven 6th, Peer Gynt Suite etc all were a catalyst to have bbc r3 as a daily companion. As usual the Educationalists to my mind are clueless; the loss of a traditional wood and metalwork course thirty and forty years ago deprives so many of a once in a lifetime to develop manual skills and insight, to use their hands … which the Educationalists blinkered in their vision cannot realise uses the brain too!
so lets hear and see …..
Below, I know so very well the duet of Robert Merrill and Juse Bjorling on RCA Victor. Again so lucky to be given this music by my old Headmaster. Even from early years I was so very touched by such beauty and accomplishment. Hint … wiki the lyrics, its quite wonderful what they are fighting about.
Lets have Caruso … again the wiki is very worthwhile …..
wow, below is supercharged … typical Lennie! I could never get my wife to admit Bernsteins genius, theres much more to him than ‘West Side Story’ as accomplished and clever as that actually is. Without reading about him one could never realise his breadth and accomplishments, his career.
I rather would go for the Karajan …..for instance at 01: 15 it is often described as swans taking off after their long run up on the water …. wonderful to see footage of the great man himself. At 06:35 we do in fact see swans, utterly beautiful …..
Here it is becoming more a list of personal favourites, I fail to see how anyone could not be enthralled in the richness, broad landscape or full invention of the musical mind …. yet i need to keep this within the bounds of say ten embeds and not one hundred or a thousand !!!
Imagine, being able to see and hear Caruso himself on stage !
Below, Furtwangler conducting for Robert Schumanns 4th Symphony …
We are so lucky to get this material below, the wit and energy of Bernstein (and Gould) …
Theres lots more on the world of classical. If this doesn’t ignite an interest then its hopeless. Witness tonights puerile Baddiel programme on bbc radio, quite stupid https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/david-baddiel-from-bowie-to-bach-can-i-learn-to-love-classical-hrhgxzx9p
Its about brain and heart, if after listening to these excerpts you are un-moved, unexcited, uninterested then forever this rich landscape is unattainable; the intricacy, the invention and intelligence, of human endeavour. No probs, you’ll never know what you’re losing, you will be happy to not have this rich tapestry of genius thrust upon you. when i hear the pointless prattle of everyday life around me its then I crave this material, these sounds.
hint: try the Beethoven Late Quartets starting with Rasumovsky no.1,
Purcel, inc Shakespeare songs,
J S Bach – the Great Chaconne,
J S Bach – the second half of the unaccompanied Cello Suites.
Rosalind Turek (Goulds teacher) playing the first half hour of Bachs ‘Goldberg Variations’
Ravel ‘Introduction and Allegro’,
Vaughan Williams ‘The Lark Ascending’,