Sunday, 9 October 2016

the music society season gets underway

I have been clearing the tomato plants out of the greenhouse.  Some of the pinkish tomatoes will probably ripen indoors, especially if I put a ripe banana with them, but it's no good expecting any more of the little ones to swell.  The forecast for the next week is still for night time temperatures comfortably above five degrees, but it can't last forever.  Very soon it will be time to start tucking the outside pots of tender things away for the winter.

I potted up the tulip bulbs as well while I was at it.  I hope they will be OK, since two varieties had shed their jackets in storage.  I have gone back to a hot colour scheme with four different varieties, fifty of each.  Those will just fill sixteen pots, allowing for a few duds, and fingers crossed that they will all flower at much the same time.  I'd like a decent splash rather than a longer spell during which four pots are looking good at any one time but the others aren't quite out or have already gone over.

I wasn't expecting it to start raining around lunchtime but it did, which put paid to my gardening for the day.  I was planning to pack up early anyway in order to get to the concert in good time, partly to help with anything that needed doing, and partly to bag a seat and save one for the friend who was coming with me.  I already felt mean that since it was the AGM after the concert I hadn't been able to give her a lift because then she'd have been lumbered with the AGM as well, and that the interval had been shrunk to ten minutes with no tea because the quartet had to catch a flight later this evening and wanted to get away promptly.

The Calder quartet were very, very good.  We were punching above our weight in booking them, but got them on the basis of asking their agent to fit us in if they were ever booking a European tour and were left with a gap.  After some months we heard back that they were.  An American quartet touring Europe scarcely wants to fly home for just a few days, so being put up in a very nice house in a very pretty village in a scenic part of the world not too far from London, and playing to a highly appreciative albeit small by their usual standards audience must have been judged an acceptable alternative.  Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Wigmore Hall, St Mary the Virgin in East Bergholt.  Apparently when they got there they liked the church so much they took to nipping over the road in odd moments just for the fun of playing in it.

I did not expect to enjoy the opening Debussy, since I don't generally get on with Debussy.  As an escaped folkie I usually find his washes of musical colour rather dull, but I found his string quartet in G minor as played by the Calder really exciting, and was not the only one since another member remarked afterwards that she'd enjoyed the Debussy though she hadn't expected to.  The variations by a famous living Swedish composer that I hadn't heard of were about as hard work as I'd have expected them to be, but that was my fault for being an uneducated middlebrow and not the Swedish composer's or the Calder's.  The concluding Beethoven was marvellous.  I'm afraid us uneducated middlebrows like Beethoven, that's just how it is.

The AGM was mercifully brief and my notes should not take too long to write up in the morning.

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