Music’s Lament

Last night on SVT there was a fantastic performance, from a restored 18th-century theatre near Stockholm, of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. ‘Dido’s Lament’ has always been one of the pieces of music that has moved me the most. I got it up afterwards on Youtube, thinking that the singer here was Anne-Sophie von Otter (she looks a bit like her), only to find it isn’t, but is – Kajsa tells me – the mother of Greta Thunberg.

We always mourn the fact that Mozart died so young. But Purcell died younger. What a loss to music his death represented. And also the prodigy Thomas Lindley’s, who was drowned in a freak boating accident in Lincolnshire at the age of 22. Together, if they’d lived, they might have repaired England’s reputation as ‘Das Land ohne Musik’ over the next couple of centuries.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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2 Responses to Music’s Lament

  1. John Evans says:

    You sound like the end of year downer….it is not all that bad. Howwever, Brexit madness has made the situation of music worse, as musicians now find it impossible to travel.
    My little bit of world lights up a little on Wed/Thurs when the days finally begin to lengthen at both ends in Southern England….when do you get the sun back in Sweden?
    Radio Three ( and even Classic FM) are a lifeline to music in these dark days….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today sunrise was at 8.40, sunset at 3.10. But when the seasons change we’ll get 18 hours of sunlight! So it’s worth waiting for. And very cosy, with treble or even quadruple glazing, and our heating coming from the earth’s crust, as I understand. (They drilled down to get it, in any case.) – Radio 3 is a tonic for me too – accessible here too; although Swedish Radio has an equivalent. All the best!


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