Thursday, 23 December 2010
In Praise of Sherry
From the Mince Pie Club, yes, the Mince Pie Club.
Ah well, it’s that time of the year when I break out the good shampoo and conditioner in readiness for a season of being merry. I’ve been scratching my head in ponderation of what to bring you by ways of Christmas greetings and, after battling over the merits of numerous composers, singers, and productions, I decided to play it safe by insulting Wagnerians, Verdarians, Puccinarians and Mozarians everywhere by going with something completely different. But if you are looking for a seasonal bit of unpublicised opera related broadcast fare (a sentence as thick as my mince pies) – then S4C are showing Nadolig Bryn Terfel (Bryn Terfel’s Christmas) on Christmas Eve at 9.00pm, with a repeat showing on Boxing Day at 10.35pm.
Trying not to don a schmaltzy tone of scribbling I’ll move on to my gift, from me, to you, dear readers. I believe that music is a universal language, one that can unite people from different backgrounds, cultures, religious beliefs, or no beliefs like no other thing on this planet. As I sit in my armchair, the open fire basking me in its warm warmth, I take a sip of sherry and wonder what it is I want to say next. After a few seconds I remember, then wonder where my sense of tense has gone. Maybe it’s the rereading of If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler that is playing tricks with me, or more likely it’s the afternoon I spent preparing sherry trifles with a bottle of sherry and no trifles. But I digress.
He may never win the Leeds International Piano Competition, and chances are that he’ll have failed to make it past the audition stages for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011, but Bruce Springsteen gives you, and I, the generous gift of music with Thunder Road.
Pass the schmaltz jar, I’ve got a few quid to add.
Wherever you are reading this, be it West, East, North, South or Mid Earth I wish you all a Nadolig Llawen – Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays – Happy Holidays to Come in the Next Few Months!