Saturday, 30 January 2016

There (and back again) before first light…


A wise (or, on second thoughts, perhaps not so wise) man once tweeted:

Advice to the deaf/ened with tinnitus/musical hallucinations: never read music scores before going to bed. Woke up with one bar on repeat.

This is the price you pay, I’m afraid, for choosing Shostakovich’s Third Symphony as nighttime reading – in preparation for this evening’s Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra concert (for which I believe, at the time of writing, there are still tickets left – although goodness knows why…) – hoping to try and conquer that sad, seasonal disorder, Dark Theatre Syndrome.


Although a large pile of tickets for the end of the summer season, and the whole of next winter’s one, had arrived, yesterday… having come home from the rip-snorting, snot-frogging Wendy & Peter Pan at the RSC, in atrocious weather, late last night, I was truly saddened that another run of plays was finishing; that the sublime Swan company had already departed (leaving a grey absence hovering over their Waterside cottages), and the RST one was about to follow suit. This always happens, of course, regular as clockwork – and is only really erased by the next great performance (which I’m pretty sure will be A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

So I took Dmitri to bed – figuratively – scribbling more notes on his once-virgin score (I can’t link to my future review: because I haven’t written it yet… – but it will be here, soon, I promise); humming, for some strange reason, many of the brass parts, in my head. And they stuck.


So, to clear my mind – and the twenty-mile-an-hour westerly gusts certainly helped – I performed my usual, dark, insomniac ritual of bimbling to the church and back (disturbing several cats, and a rather startled gentleman in Saddledon Street, on the way). I arrived at St Mary’s just as the clock chimed quarter-to (seven): which should have given my ears the cleansing they so badly needed. And, as the first hints of day appeared, was accompanied by territorial robins – pipers at the gates of dawn; along Sandpits Road – also welcoming the light.

You would have thought that such tunefulness would have quenched all traces of The First of May. But no, the horns’ first, repeating entry is still with me. Perhaps the only solution will be to hear it for real. I cannot wait!


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