Some Highlights from 2012
I’m conscious that my blogging is so occasional as to be almost non-existent. I regret this as, regardless of whether anyone engaged with what I wrote, I found the experience to be enriching. I observe that many of those whom I view as part of ‘my’ bloggers community, have gone the same way as me - a notable exception being Living Wittily. I think that Facebook is mainly responsible, but that’s another post.
Francis Spufford, Unapologetic, is most definitely the ‘Book of the Year’. The writing is intensely beautiful at times, while being refreshingly raw at others. Sarah Quigley’s novel, ‘The Conductor’, about the events surrounding the composition of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, ‘The Leningrad’ was captivating and moving.
Among the many excellent films recommended to us by our good friends Chris and Frances Norton, going with them to see ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ on one of the few sunny Saturday afternoons of the year was wholly worthwhile. ‘Delicacy’, with Audrey Tatou, was quirky and exquisite - and we downloaded the CD ‘Franky Knight’ by Émilie Simon, from which the soundtrack was taken, as soon as the credits came up.
‘Borgen’ Series 1 and 2 were hugely enjoyable. The second series isn’t broadcast in the UK until next Saturday evening, but the kindness of friends meant we were able to borrow their imported box set. Both were excellent as was Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’
This included Richard Strauss’ Salome, and Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold, both at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Palm Sunday, sung by the Bach Choir at the Royal Festival Hall; a concert at the Theatre de Champs Elysees by the French National Radio Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davies, including, Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto and Dvorak’s 7th Symphony. The tickets were €10 each and we were at the back of a box and could see nothing without standing. It was still exhilarating! Two Renaissance choral concerts, one by Stile Antico at The Stables, and another by The Sixteen at The Church of Christ the Cornerstone in Milton Keynes were gorgeous.
Two stunning purchases were James MacMillan’s, Miserere, and St John Passion. And on DVD, the Peter Sellars‘ ritualisation of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic together with a stellar cast of singers including Mark Padmore. This was one of the highlights of the year above all.
And for 2013, grace and peace from Wonder and Wondering!