brick paths and symphonies

Expected bad weather still holding off, but my hands got very cold heaving bricks and moving turfs. I am taking up a grass path, but keeping the turfs to build a bank in the poor dry soil next to the drive.

No writing today either. Reading the 1853 A Year In Music in bed this morning, I was comforted once more by how little time the great composers of that period actually spent composing. They made a lot of music and they talked to each other about music and they travelled, but composing time was rare. I imagine that it didn’t earn them a living, any more than writing does today. Composing must be the most frustrating of the arts. It is all imagination – unless, say, you are a pianist composing for the piano. For orchestral work, or worse still opera, without the instrumentalists and the singers and the venue and the rehearsing time, you will never hear your own work, you cannot even show it to others except as a score.

It occurs to me that this is no longer true. Presumably there is now software that will allow you to compose and hear some version of your work… Hmm, I’ve always wanted to have a go. Now I recall the girls had a very simple music program on the old Atari. However in 1853 you had a page of music and, if you were lucky , a piano.

too many books again

2.3.13 Picked up the new book that EG gave me at Christmas, 1853 A Year in Music, by Hugh MacDonald for my morning tea-in-bed read. I am once more involved in too many books. I still have 40 odd pages to go of the Scott Fitzgerald, which I am now reading in my after lunch research slot. I should be reading the Arandora Star at this time about the interned British Italians lost on this ship in July 1940. This will unwind over the next few days.