Wednesday, 2 July 2014

70th Cheltenham Music Festival

"Do not bid me remember mine end," urges Falstaff in Henry IV Part 2. Ignoring his example, I reflected this morning that the Adagio sostenuto at the heart of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" might do quite well for my funeral. Only, at 15 minutes (more or less minimum), it's of course grotesquely too long.

In Steven Osborne's performance, however, this was far from the case. Never have I found myself taking this sonata so seriously. It was the climax to a majestic recital - early Schubert and lateish Beethoven, all written within about a three-year period. The packed Pittville Pump Room responded appropriately, and we emerged into the sunlight to enjoy a picnic on the grass with friends - and afterwards a wander over one of forger Forbes' bridges across the lake towards a source of rather good ice creams.

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