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.