excerpt from 'Life on air : memoirs of a broadcaster' pp. 190-191 (302 words)

excerpt from 'Life on air : memoirs of a broadcaster' pp. 190-191 (302 words)

part of

Life on air : memoirs of a broadcaster

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

190-191

type

text excerpt

encoded value

The symphony [Tchaikovsky’s Fourth] formed the second half of the concert.  After the interval, Ken and I in our best suits silently filed on to the platform with the French horns and took our place alongside them.  The camera, draped with all the cloth we could find to muffle its sound, stood alongside Ken like some unfamiliar addition to the percussionist’s battery.  Ken focused it on the podium and locked it off.  All he then had to do was unobtrusively to reach up and press the start button.  He wasn’t sure of the right point to do this but I knew the symphony well, particularly after having sat through four performances of it so recently.  So I would give him a nudge.

                We sat with folded arms and appropriately solemn expressions through the exposition of the themes, and their elaboration and combination.  The music slowly built up towards its final climax.  The strings were playing furiously.  The trombones brayed and the French horns alongside chorused an ear-splitting response.  I gave Ken an unobtrusive nudge and he reached up and turned on the camera.  Maestro Dorati was at his most athletic, urging the orchestra on to a huge climax.  But then, instead of the repeated thunderous final chords I had expected, a sudden hush fell on the orchestra.  An oboe played a long plaintive phrase over soft pizzicato from the strings – accompanied by the grinding noise of our camera.  I had forgotten that the last section of the movement was repeated before it came to its final climactic bars.  Ken and I sat there perspiring, pretending that we had nothing to do with the black shape audibly growling beside us.  It seemed an age before its noise was once again drowned by that of the orchestra.

The symphony [Tchaikovsky’s Fourth] formed the second half of the concert.  After the interval, Ken and I in our best suits silently filed on to the platform with the French horns and took our place alongside them.  The camera, draped with all the cloth we could find to muffle its sound, stood alongside Ken like some unfamiliar addition to the percussionist’s battery.  Ken focused it on the podium and locked it off.  All he then had to do was unobtrusively to reach up and press the start button.  He wasn’t sure of the right point to do this but I knew the symphony well, particularly after having sat through four performances of it so recently.  So I would give him a nudge.

                We sat with folded arms and appropriately solemn expressions through the exposition of the themes, and their elaboration and combination.  The music slowly built up towards its final climax.  The strings were playing furiously.  The trombones brayed and the French horns alongside chorused an ear-splitting response.  I gave Ken an unobtrusive nudge and he reached up and turned on the camera.  Maestro Dorati was at his most athletic, urging the orchestra on to a huge climax.  But then, instead of the repeated thunderous final chords I had expected, a sudden hush fell on the orchestra.  An oboe played a long plaintive phrase over soft pizzicato from the strings – accompanied by the grinding noise of our camera.  I had forgotten that the last section of the movement was repeated before it came to its final climactic bars.  Ken and I sat there perspiring, pretending that we had nothing to do with the black shape audibly growling beside us.  It seemed an age before its noise was once again drowned by that of the orchestra.

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excerpt from 'Life on air : memoirs of a broadcaster' pp. 190-191 (302 words)

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