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Jessica Duchen
Friday 6th August 2010
Egos and Enigmas

The first ego is my own: I'm a guest commentator on BBC4's TV broadcast of tonight's Prom. It's the Halle conducted by Sir Mark Elder: John Fouls April - England, Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 with Paul Lewis, then Strauss Ein Heldenleben. Tune in at 7.30pm (but if you're at the concert/on Radio 3 the start time is 7pm) or catch it on BBC iPlayer later.

Next, there's Elgar and his passion for enigmas. I've stumbled upon an Agatha Christie-esque interpretation of the Violin Concerto's mysterious dedication of five dots. It's in today's Independent, here.

And finally, Mr and Mrs R Strauss. I've been boning up on Strauss for this evening and the other day mentioned to my editor (up the mountain) a family story involving Mrs Strauss - who is represented in Ein Heldenleben by the solo violin - and a strange Bavarian fish. Here's what happened. I wonder how Strauss would have set this one to music?

For my rather neglected Friday Historical, here is Heifetz in the first chunk of the Elgar Violin Concerto, with Malcolm Sargent conducting the LSO on 6 June 1949. Follow the Youtube links from it to hear the rest. Enjoy. And please send good vibes towards Kensington this evening. Over and out...

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About Jessica Duchen

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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