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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Summer Music

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The yearly miracle for millions

As the unique and exhilarating Promenade Concert season in London is again cascading its music to thousands in attendance and millions by radio worldwide, the venture as originally conceived -- concerts with some of the audience in the cheapest parts of the house unseated -- has found its imitators but never a likely rival with such massive resources.

One is pretty certain that for many listeners and concertgoers the Proms is the most agreeable way of gaining musical experience, especially in facing brand new works and a cross-section of neglected music from the last two centuries.

In the matter of soloists, great care is taken to engage the best of the new, which means interpretation unfolds with unexpected vistas, some of which are truly magical. But that does not imply that visionary performance is confined to the young: seasoned singers and players rise as supremely to the heights and shatter our senses with their artistry. There's the occasional failure, but rarely.

One could easily be misled by the scale of this annual venture into taking the endless round of musicmaking as a smooth machine endlessly purring its way through millions of notes. Your choice, but never forget the basis of both its construction, and its profound effect upon our minds, is as though to incessantly remind us all that such beauty is only capable of activitation through the human mind stretched to its limit, the more so in an age threatened by acts of aggression. We must resist one firmly as we illumine our souls and bodies through the other.

Copyright © 29 August 2002 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

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