Sunday, 6 January 2019

I Pick LPs At Random

I've a new game - I go to my shelf of LPs (I've just counted and there are just over 200) and pick one at random.  I slide out the record from the packed line-up and see what I've got.

Last night, it was this:


I listened willingly, intrigued by the choice of cover. Who knew Brahms Violin concerto could induce that Saturday night, post-wedding celebration feeling? (Hogarth apparently).

This morning, it was this:


And what an awakening! Only yesterday, I was talking with my son about Stravinsky and national identity in music, and here he is, in deep conversation with Isaac Stern. 

My collection is mainly made up from records which belonged to my parents. It's a rich inheritance which sat unused for years in the attic, waiting for the vinyl revival. And now they've come into their own - move over Apple Music! Step aside Spotify and your playlists! This is where it's at: highlights from Don Giovanni sung by this crowd:


And Schubert's wonderful quintet played by a bunch of guys in the days before classical musicians had to pose, ripped and made-up, or draped over a violin:


Style is not absent from my collection. A later addition to my collection is this - picked up at a charity auction in aid of SAND - Safe Ageing No Discrimination. You might need to look them up. You won't need to look this performer up:


So I've been working and listening to LPs, and the odd EP, getting up every 20 mins or so to flip over the disc, or choose another.

And in amongst my mood has been the pervading sadness felt at the death of a dear friend this week. She's been in my thoughts constantly, but when I picked out this LP I could hear her voice clearly in my head:

"Pull yourself together Missus, for Christ's sake. Have a hot chocolate and never forget who you are or where you're headed ... "