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Messages - Jim Penn

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News and Current Affairs / Re: Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015)
« on: March 28, 2015, 06:57:12 pm »
Someone's already put that on Wikipedia (though no cited source).

The only other place I can see anything is this blog.

Sad news; vale, Maestro Stevenson.

Announcements / Re: Simon Howard
« on: March 25, 2015, 08:55:28 am »
I didn't really feel up to posting a reaction last night, but what a moving night it was.

Agreed with Mr Harp that the Zaldua piece was a real highlight, and for me I thought Andrew Noble's "The Laugh of the Medusa" was bloomin' remarkable (and, sadly, I agree about the performance of the Bach p+f). The sequence of the concert as a whole was really rather wonderful; if only all concerts could be so imaginatively programmed. Much thanks, as autoharp says, to JSC and everyone else involved - oh, and to JSC for his terrific programme notes (and his few obbligato musical ones too! ;) ).

Nice to meet Don B, George, PW and Ambootia for the first time, and nice run into Bryn and autoharp again, always a pleasure, chaps. And to Selva and JSC, apologies for not sticking around to say hello afterwards (took nearly 100 minutes to get home as it was!).

The Coffee Bar / Re: What has made you smile today?
« on: March 21, 2015, 03:34:57 pm »
Had to go shopping earlier to pick up some health supplements for Mrs P. Gap on the shelf where they normally were, spoke to manager, they didn't have them in stock at the moment, but they did have an alternative product - same brand, same supplements, but packaged with some omega-3 tablets. One snag, nearly nine quid more expensive - explained to manager that as my good lady wife already has a fairly adequate supply of omega-3 (and -6 and -9 tablets, if memory serves), I said I'd probably wait till they got the other ones back in. So manager said she'd override the price on the till and sell me the more expensive ones at the same price as the ones Mrs P normally gets. Result.

So, smiles for Holland & Barrett today for some proper good customer service.

The Coffee Bar / Re: Happy Birthday
« on: March 20, 2015, 09:00:59 am »
Is Eh No Bull still knocking round these here parts? Happies to him if he is...

Broadcast and Recorded Music / Re: Now spinning ...
« on: March 20, 2015, 08:59:39 am »
For St Cuthbert's Day this year, my mother has bought me a rather spiffing bare-bones Decca set of Solti's Wagner operas (Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Dutchman, Mastersingers, Tristan, Parsifal, and the Solti Ring). It's the second time she's bought me the Solti Ring - she gave it me on vinyl for my 18th birthday!

I've only had time to put Rheingold on my mp3 player, but I'm spinning it right now (started preposterously early!). Forgotten how good it is.

(I've also got PMD's "The Lighthouse" and Sibelius's "Kullervo" to spin later :) ).

Broadcast and Recorded Music / Re: Now spinning ...
« on: March 19, 2015, 02:50:59 pm »
I was very disappointed a couple of days ago to find that I won't be in London in time for the upcoming Boulez day (The London Sinfonietta the following weekend doing Scelsi, Ligeti, Haas and Murail is a small consolation I suppose), so I decided to have a Boulez day of my own, specially because I got myself the "complete works" box and I haven't delved into it yet... starting with his 2000 recording of Le marteau. I wonder why the untuned percussion sounds like it's at the far end of a corridor.

Coincidentally, I've just been doing some research in the database at work for programmes featuring Boulez conducting his own music. Still need to get that Boulez boxed set...

I'm currently listening to Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante (K364), one of my favourite Mozart pieces. Oh, and this morning, I had a first listen to the disc of James Erber flute works which I finally got round to buying this week (fabulous). I think you have some acquaintance with the producer, Selva.  ;)

20th Century / Re: Frank Martin
« on: March 15, 2015, 11:47:35 am »
Thanks for all this, gents, been meaning to explore Martin more - some good stuff to go on, here.

For my part, I do rather like the Requiem; from 1972, if memory serves, one of his last completed works.

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Happy Thread
« on: March 12, 2015, 03:45:08 pm »
Been meaning to say, thanks for the kind words re: my nan, everyone.

One thing I didn’t mention was an interesting biographical tidbit that the family only came across very recently. Apparently, in the last year or so, my nan had started anecdotally mentioning that she’d met Kim Philby a few times as he used to visit some of the family for dinner. My mother and aunt had never heard anything about this before, so took it to be a sign that, nearing her century, my nan was inevitably starting to lose some of her marbles. For my money, though, it had a ring of truth about it; not least because nan’s uncle Billy had achieved a little social notoriety at one point by renouncing the priesthood in the late 1950s and joining the British Communist Party (before eventually making the transition back the other way several years later). It seemed obvious to me that many family members would have moved in social circles that tangentially crossed over with the communist movement, so it seemed perfectly plausible to me that Philby’s and the family’s paths would inevitably have crossed over at some point. Anyway, a couple of weeks before nan’s hundredth, her cousin (uncle Billy’s daughter) paid a visit (couldn’t make it on the day), and my aunt asked about the Kim Philby thing, and yes, indeed, Philby did visit the family from time to time. Fascinating!

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Happy Thread
« on: March 08, 2015, 06:52:53 pm »
One or two of you might already have seen this information on the ol' Book of Faces, so apologies for that, but yesterday was spent in Somerset celebrating my grandmother's birthday. Not just any old birthday, you understand. Oh no. THE birthday. Yup, the old girl hit the century yesterday - she's physically frail, and her hearing is starting to go (starting, at 100???!!!), but she's still got a full-ish bag of marbles - still got a wit as fast as anyone in the room, with a devilish streak (and the glint in the eye that goes with it).

Over the last few years, she's had a certain ennui, and when she had her 99th, she said she was done with everything and didn't want another, but not long thereafter she got very animated about the prospect of having a 100th after all. And so we had a big do for her yesterday - not a long do (all over in about 90 minutes, she doesn't have the energy for much more than that, inevitably), but a lovely do. Visit from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Weston-Super-Mare, letter from Her Maj, the whole shabang. More importantly, and I don't think anyone realised it at the time, but it was the first (and, I'd venture, almost certainly the last) time that the complete four generation family line from my nan was collected in a single room - my nan, her two daughters (my mother and aunt), their four off-spring, and my elder cousin's son and younger cousin's daughter (so, the great-grand-children, who are both nearly three years old).

Lovely day.

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: March 04, 2015, 09:14:35 am »
(As I remember, beer got spilled on my laptop; it was never quite the same after that.)

That explains an awful lot about your electronic music.  :naughty: ( :hug: )

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: March 03, 2015, 11:51:22 am »
I'm probably being very dense here, but I couldn't see the Tick Here to Book box when the event was announced. I assumed people could just turn up. Could someone give me the link please? Then click the "sign up for this event" button, then fill in the boxes! :)

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: March 03, 2015, 11:40:53 am »
anyway I was going to suggest a meetup soon, given that I'll be in the smoke for a week at the end of the month, but actually I guess many of us will be at the concert for Simon, right?

Finally got my arse into gear and booked myself in for the concert.

News and Current Affairs / Rattle
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:15:13 am »
Newsflash on the BBC website - the worst kept secret in music, Rattle confirms that he's joining the LSO in 2017...

The Concert Hall / Re: Crrrritic!
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:56:09 pm »
Clementine Verbiage - could be a self-portrtait of his reviews, but he is, in fact, talking about a disc of orchestral music by Mark Andre!  :naughty:

"There are some intriguing textural ideas along the way... but it’s still hard to suppress a sense of “So what?” when it comes to an end."

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