John Wilson and OperaGlass Works turn the Britten screw for telly

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Britten, The Turn of the Screw: Libretto by Myfanwy Piper from a story by Henry James. An OperaGlass Works production. Directors – Dominic Best, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson. Set designer – Tom Piper and Director of Photography – Jim Ashcroft. Sinfonia of London / John Wilson (conductor). Orchestra recorded at Cadogan Hall, London and filmed at an empty Wilton’s Music Hall, London. Shown on BBC FOUR, 6.6.2021 and available on BBC iPlayer until 6.7.2021. (JB)   

Robert Murray (Peter Quint) © Laurie Sparham

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She Walks in Beauty – Marianne is Faithfull

Marianne is Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull (c) Giancarlo Botti

Marianne is Faithfull. That’s true whether upper or lower case is used for the f. We have to ask, faithful to what or to whom? In Marianne’s case it doesn’t just mean tribe, though as I shall show, that is of overwhelming importance; it means faithful to herself, even as that self continues to reveal to her, unknown aspects of herself.

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Mozart: the thick and thin of it

Readers of the London Review of Books have recently been reminded of the incomparable importance of Brigid Brophy (1929-1995), born of Irish parents in Ealing, West London, sometimes called Lady Levey, since her happy husband, Sir Michael Levey, who was Director of the National Gallery, gave up his posting to look after her in her final illness of multiple sclerosis, following her many lesbian affairs, with among others, Iris Murdock.

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Sometimes a Light Surprises: J.M.W. Turner at Tate Britain

Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings; It is the Lord, who rises with healing in his wings: when comforts are declining, he grants the soul again a season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain. William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) was one of the earliest of the nineteenth century romantic poets, much … Read more

The latest opus of Graham Johnson: Francis Poulenc: The Life in the Songs

He who would valiant be ‘Gainst all disaster, Let him in constancy Follow the Master. There’s no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim Who so beset him round With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound His strength the more is. No foes shall stay his might, Though … Read more

Poetry Truth and Understanding

Poetry Truth and Understanding. That trinity comes out from my church-attendance friends as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Pontius Pilate was almost as witty as Jesus himself. My vote for the fifth Prefect of Judea goes with the Orthodox Church’s, who revere him as a hero: unlike the spoilsport Western Church, who portray him as a villain. What is truth? is the question that the Godhead Himself must constantly ask as well as urge his followers to ask. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s says Jesus, in the response to the Pharisee’s trick question as to whether it is lawful to pay your taxes. Good Christians do well to follow Our Lord’s advice. So, no apologies to the super-taxed wealthy. And absolutely no excuse for your responsibilities toward God.  Those responsibilities are both complex and a delight. Further thought is needed.

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