<< -- 2 -- Jennifer Paull REMINISCENT RETROSPECTIVES
I first heard the oboe during a weekly BBC radio programme, Music
and Movement. My class undertook the basic rhythmical exercises to music
that passed for gymnastics at the time. I was eight, and knew that I wanted
to make that haunting instrumental sound myself. This resolution was still
within me, and here, three years later, I was about to see oboists playing
for the first time.
Less than half way through the overture I know without a shadow of a
doubt that I wanted to be a professional oboist. It was a revelation and
a call to arms. How could I forget the feeling every time I revisited the
hall? Unfortunately, my parents didn't see my future in the same way,
so my only visits to this building were for annual, monotonous school Speech
Days for several more years.
The Philharmonic Hall itself has a very distinctive style. I didn't
know it then, but of course this hall is one of the most perfect examples
of Art Deco architecture. When I did eventually play in the Merseyside Youth
Orchestra, I had climbed a personal Everest to obtain an instrument, take
lessons, and be accepted as a member. I can still recall the exact feeling
of being on that stage for the Sunday morning rehearsals; the slow flickering
of dust particles in the beam of the spotlights.
I played many times with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra over
the years. No matter what we were playing, no matter who was conducting,
the hall itself was a familiar, welcoming friend.
Many years later, I returned to show my children just how beautiful it
was. We found the plaque dedicated to the musicians of the Titanic. I had
always thought such a plaque was a very noble and fitting gesture. For the
first time I saw the amazing cinema screen which was open on stage. Somehow,
I had never seen it open before. As Art Deco in its frame as the rest of
this building, I was very happy to find that recent restoration had been
undertaken with perfect attention to original detail. Everything was just
as it had always been.
Copyright © 8 February 2002
Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland
JENNIFER PAULL'S AMORIS INTERNATIONAL
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