excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 13 (206 words)

excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 13 (206 words)

part of

In Pursuit of Music

original language

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

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13

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text excerpt

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My father’s tastes were simple and middle-brow: on Sunday mornings he would strum on the old Dimoline upright with its rattling candlesticks and its twangy tone that became smothered in cotton-wool when the left pedal was used out of mercy to the neighbours.  Our rising social position eventually demanded a Chappell baby grand, gentle and even after the Dimoline, but my father’s repertoire remained unchanged – The Druid’s Prayer, Country Gardens, and Rachmaninov’s Prelude (no need to specify which) were his favourites.  But how magic was the power of music to evoke nostalgia!  For if my father chanced to launch into Rachmaninov on a weekday evening, which rarely happened, its parallel bell-like chords transplanted me into the quiet austerity of an English Sunday, with summer sunshine, open windows, and the smell of lilac.  Nevertheless music came far more strongly from my mother, who had studied singing seriously but without pretension, and played fluently enough to accompany herself in songs I recall in my mind’s ear to this day – Edward German’s Charming Chloe, Dell’Acqua’s Villanelle, ‘The Pipes of Pan’ from The Arcadians, French Bergerettes, and countless popular ballads. 

My father’s tastes were simple and middle-brow: on Sunday mornings he would strum on the old Dimoline upright with its rattling candlesticks and its twangy tone that became smothered in cotton-wool when the left pedal was used out of mercy to the neighbours.  Our rising social position eventually demanded a Chappell baby grand, gentle and even after the Dimoline, but my father’s repertoire remained unchanged – The Druid’s Prayer, Country Gardens, and Rachmaninov’s Prelude (no need to specify which) were his favourites.  But how magic was the power of music to evoke nostalgia!  For if my father chanced to launch into Rachmaninov on a weekday evening, which rarely happened, its parallel bell-like chords transplanted me into the quiet austerity of an English Sunday, with summer sunshine, open windows, and the smell of lilac.  Nevertheless music came far more strongly from my mother, who had studied singing seriously but without pretension, and played fluently enough to accompany herself in songs I recall in my mind’s ear to this day – Edward German’s Charming Chloe, Dell’Acqua’s Villanelle, ‘The Pipes of Pan’ from The Arcadians, French Bergerettes, and countless popular ballads. 

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excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 13 (206 words)

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