Bravo Budapest…

Friday afternoon and time for some great music. Next Tuesday’s Prom features one of my very favourite orchestras, the Budapest Festival Orchestra under its superconductor Ivan Fischer.

I’ve been engaging in some enthusiastic displacement activity today: on YouTube, in a great many chunks, you can find an entire documentary about this fabulous ensemble’s first 25 years (their silver jubilee was last year).

Here is the first bit, showing excerpts from their very first concert, at the Franz Liszt Academy. I find it very slightly macabre that they kicked off with something Russian, but with playing like that perhaps they’re just beating ’em at their own game.

The Prom, by the way, starts at 7pm. It is followed by a late-night performance by, um, the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. Whatever floats your boat…

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"