Sunday, 26 July 2009

"A farm for the future"?

Last night, we were at another string quartet recital. Very different from any of our Cheltenham experiences, the Brodsky Quartet's recital took place in the idyllic setting of Guiting Power Village Hall as part of the 39th music festival held there. I remember attending what must have been one of the first, the village's great benefactor Raymond Cochrane making a rather hesitant speech of welcome.

We came expecting to hear a rare programme of Italian music, but preparation time for this had been lost. "I had an accident cutting up the chorizo," violist, Paul Cassidy explained. We could hardly complain at the substitution of Wolf's Italian Serenade and Beethoven Op. 132.

On the narrow road up to Guiting we made way for a huge lorry and trailer loaded with straw bales: my photograph, taken at 9 o'clock during the concert interval, shows - across the cricket ground for which the Village Hall acts as pavilion - a similar vehicle: the harvesting continued even as we drove away from the village an hour later. I wondered what the prognosis was for such hugely carbon-intensive operations, in the light of watching Rebecca Hosking's wonderful BBC2 film, "A farm for the future." You can still catch it in segments on YouTube: start here. Well worth the trouble!

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