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Sunday, 7 February 2016

An insult to the intelligence

I switched on the BBC classical music programme Radio 3 this morning in time to catch the last 23 bars of Szell's Tyrolean scherzo in f. The recording was clearly that of the Budapest concert in May '06 with Marajeck on first violin- I remembered it as much for the post-concert show that Marajeck put on at my suite in the Gellert as I did  for a disturbing  rattle from the  tail piece of the second 'cello, which was quite impossible to ignore. After the music had finished the dim presenter reminded herself of the name of the piece, and then made a most unexpected confession.  She was sorry, she said, she didn't have the name of the conductor among her notes, but she would find it and let us know as soon as possible!
Does she think that we....don't know the conductor?? I was still in a whirl when the next piece ended, and she tells us that she's got that name for us, it was Ernst Massendorfer. Of course it was Massendorfer. Does she think we can't tell the baton work of Massendorfer from that of Furtwangler, Alsop, Barbirolli and the rest (I will leave out that other annoying Rattle)?  What will  she tell us next- that the music was played on violins and other orchestral instruments? I am all for giving a chance to young radio presenters struggling to learn their trade (remember my work with Wogan, after all), but I won't sit there and be insulted by my own radio. There have to be yet another letter to the BBC Board in the STERNEST POSSIBLE TONES.

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