In Brief…


smallcatJust four videos — two of them very short! — in this posting, which I hope will require very few words. As a matter of fact, this blog’s ‘followers’ — who are, of course, sent every posting by email as soon as it is uploaded — have already seen this one with even fewer words: I’d only just pasted in the coded link to the first clip … when four small and very ill-behaved feline feet rapidly pattered their way across the keyboard — and ‘published’ the thing without any help from me…

The main point of this posting is to put across something that I discussed with a friendly acquaintance at lunchtime: since he was interested to hear about an oddity he didn’t previously know, I thought other people might like to share it — especially as there are circles in which it is pretty well known: why remain left out, if you have been up till now…?

The point, I think, will get across in two short clips, without further explanation…

First clip:

Second clip:

‘All by myself’, he sang. Not true, I’d say: seems to me that he actually had *help*…

Rachmaninoff in the early 1900s

And that’s it, really. Nothing more. Except, perhaps, to say that Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which was composed in 1900-1, had its first performance on 9 November 1902 — which is how I came to be talking about it today.

I could perfectly well stop here; but since I have ten minutes before I have to go to sleep, let me quickly throw in two more videos…

First, here is the famous 1946 film Brief Encounter, in which this very piece found itself being used, and which has for decades existed in a weirdly symbiotic relationship with the work: people who know the concerto dig out the film to see how the music is handled; and people who see the film decide to explore the entire concerto…

Of course, many people these days know both the film and the concerto — which is why I’m including the fourth video. Because I’ve asked several people about this last item, and not one of them knew (or even suspected) that Brief Encounter was treated — if that’s the word — to a re-make in 1974. Maybe you want to check it out; maybe you don’t…


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