Interested to read Alice Jones's piece in the Indy about new vogues in cinema. Not the films - but the places we watch them. I reckon something similar is happening in concert halls. Have a read here... I was going to write about this at length, but the argument is very simple: why would you want to listen to a piano recital in an aircraft hangar, a huge and unfriendly audience stuffed in rows as if the plane was about to take off, if instead you could hear the same artist in the same music, only better and closer, sitting on a sofa in a salon sipping Sauvignon to Schumann? You'd be more likely to switch off your mobile phone, too...
I've written about the slow death of the piano recital for the July/August issue of Standpoint, which should be out any minute now. The above paragraph gives just a whiff of this particular volcanic ash cloud. Do look out for it on the main magazine website, under the "Civilisation" heading. I'll be sunning myself somewhere nice for a little while now (all being well), but please enjoy exploring my blogroll and my colleagues' columns til I get back.
Here's Debussy's evocation of long lazy Mediterranean afternoons, as idiosyncratically/controversially/brilliantly/obscenely/crazily (select preferred adjective) choreographed for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo by Vaslav Nijinsky and designed by Leon Bakst...though I don't expect to spot anything quite as exotic as Rudolf Nureyev where I'm going. See you soon.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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