About Time, Too

Today The Times took a leaf out of our ‘Bog off, Bruckner’ post and got arts personalities to indulge their Christmas grumpiness by picking out classics they secretly hate.

My pal London Jazz is justifiably exercised because Andrew Marr turns out to hate jazz, and the New York Times’s blog Arts Beat has picked up on dancer Edward Watson’s ‘Groundhog Day’ loathing of The Nutcracker – which stands accused of stranglehold, stifling all creative thought in the dance world around this time of year.

That’s why the occasional letting off of steam versus “but everyone knows this is great stuff!” can be a good thing sometimes – because, for crying out aloud, did they only just notice that about The Nutcracker?!? It’s so flipping obvious, but there’s this self-righteously po-faced facade hiding the truth, maintaining that we mustn’t grumble in case we upset other people’s Christmas spirit. Ditto for Messiah, of course. It was a great relief to spend Christmas in Paris a couple of years ago and discover that there it is perfectly OK to perform, and attend, Tannhauser on Christmas Eve. 

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"