Happening to catch an item on the excellent 'Woman’s Hour' recently reminded me of one of the less enjoyable aspects of my forshortened stay in Frinton: the wireless television receiver. It sits in the corner of my sister’s small withdrawing room and jabber-jabbers all day long. First, it’s the news; then recently the wall-to-wall Olympic Games (which, incidentally, seems to be returning to its Hellenistic origins judging by the decreasing size of the lady-competitors attire. Perhaps Miss Cake would care to comment? And as for some of the so-called ‘sports', don’t get me started. Synchronised jumping into the swimming pool, for Heaven’s sake! Whatever next? Ballroom dancing? Ballet? Snail racing, Mr Two-Sox?).
Now, where was I? Ah yes, choral singing. And Radio Four. Jenny Murray first. Her mellifluous tones informed the world that when the Olympics come to Britain next it will be greeted by massed choirs of choral singers echoing to the joyful strain and enjoining all-comers to raise the happy refrain (as long as said refrain isn’t something by John Rotter). This gave rise to a discussion of the role which choral singing has traditionally played in the cultural life of this sceptered isle. Of course, a selection of so-called ‘experts’ had been wheeled into the studio to inform the listeners that approximately 80% of men are baritones and a similar percentage of women, mezzos. Utter rubbish. Complete balderdash. Total piffle. How do they think a four-part choir could function if only one tenth of the sound was generated by the soprani? (The same would not, of course, apply to the tenors, whose number could be dimished almost to zero without any adverse effect on most choirs - sorry, Mr Clack.) Nevertheless the lady speaker did at least say that to be sure of one's tessitura one must consult an expert – a singing teacher. Yes! So if anybody out there wants to know precisely what they are, I’ll tell them. For, of course, a small fee.
Ronald Stevenson Piano Music: Volume 2 - I was confused. When I knew that I was receiving a CD of Ronald Stevenson’s piano music to review, I mistakenly assumed that it was a second volume to Murr...
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