Brenda strikes back

“Don’t waste your time on obscure contemporary composers, John,” she said.

On tour in South Africa in 1968.

On tour in South Africa in 1968. Image: Wikipedia.

Don’t listen to those who tell you not to read YouTube comments:

Hello Graham…, You have got the wrong end of the stick as did the biographer who never knew John at all. On the contrary I did everything in my power to stop John from learning all those pieces by obscure contemporary composers but it was no use. He ruined his career and his life by doing that – there lies the tragedy. Please do not blame me for a crime I did not commit.


I hope she doesn’t find me too.

The 1976 Moscow video’s unembeddable, but you probably know by now how to click on a link. And here he is in Moscow 14 years previously, in 1962 at the Tchaikovsky Competition, with three of the same pieces:

For some reason, probably related to Russian novels, I am glad that he and they seemed so fond of each other. And what nice audiences too, before the popular smartphonopticon turned applause into competitive narcissism.

Extraordinary stuff, and I do fear that even the cleverest street organ in the world will never layer and shimmer as he does in Ondine.

(I suppose Ravel is no longer an obscure contemporary composer.)

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