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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

On Handel and helping Russia,
with Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH

Dear Alice,
I have a CD entitled 'Handel'.
The contents are: Concerti a due cori; Overture in D; Concerto Grosso 'Alexander's Feast' and Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. There are 24 tracks according to Windows Media Player. I wish to know which tracks belong to which piece of music.
Please can you help?

George Frideric Handel

Dear Margaret,
'Fraid not. It's a shame that the publisher didn't supply an adequate list, on the back of the CD.

Though obviously anyone could tell you (and you probably know anyway) such obvious things as that any concerto grosso sports interweaving sections where two solo violins and one solo cello play together as opposed to sections where all the strings are going at it like rabbits ... You probably also know that due cori signifies two choirs, and that the famous Arrival of the Queen of Sheba goes 'boom-a-chika, boom-a-chika, boom-a-chika, boom-a-chika, boom-a-boom-a-boom-a-boom-a, boom-a-chik-a-boom-a-chick-a'
and so forth and so on ad nauseam.

If it was a promotional CD then you're of course in a much stronger position. You can then say, fast off the tee, that track 21 is my fav for bridal entry, track 5 for the signing of the registry and track 24 for the exit of the happy couple (or whatever). This puts the onus on the supplier (probably a string quartet deeply inferior to my own) and might even concentrate their tiny minds so as to make sure you want exactly what you SEEM to want (believe me, not always the same exact thing ...)


Ask Alice

Dear Alice,
I understand from a mutual friend that you are not a fan of Amoxicillin. What is it, and what's wrong with it, anyway?

PS: Have you tried paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin?

Dear J9,
You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO right. Allow me to urge my readers, should they spot a doctor pull a prescription pad towards them and start to write Amoxicillin (using the term 'write' loosely, of course; they're doctors, after all, so it's a good deal more likely to look like Anoniittam or Annoo+llii or even A)*(&*^&%% to either (a) put in a series of cogent objections or else (b) get the h out of there, and fastish, because NOTHING you've got is likely to make you feel worse than this pot of poison.

Let me describe to you what your average, forty-something person feels like upon first swallowing this pill (probably having been handsomely donated an absolutely foul bronchial germ from a near ward-neighbour while in hospital, say, for a cardiac scare). On day one you start feeling dizzy, as if something had fallen on you from a medium height. Day two sees you feeling nauseous and sick and weirdly achey. On top of that -- and really the worst of all -- is that your ability to move abruptly departs. Just going up a flight of stairs does you in for the duration. Once you establish self on the sofa, the determination to change the channel may still exist (especially if The Archers has just come on) but the effort of lifting up a hand and manipulating some tiny buttons is more than the spirit can bear. Even to turn the page of a book requires of effort of character. On day three In the supermarket -- somewhere around aisle 3 is average -- you actually sit down and want to howl like a dog. To add insult to injury, you will feel as if only sleep can save you, but find it extremely difficult to sleep ... In short, you will at this point feel that fate, having turfed you into hospital SPECIFICALLY so you could get hold of a particularly horrible bronchial bug, has so undermined your normally ironclad constitution as to leave you open to every passing germ. After urging your friends to put in their orders for lilies you give up the will to live.

And then, suddenly, somewhere around 4am on your fourth night, your last remaining brain-cell springs to life. Beavering away at the old stand, it suggests (somewhere between the 3999th sheep and the 4000th) that -- PING!!!!! -- you may not have flu after all. Instead, that insidiously revolting Amoxicillin may have side-effects too horrible to contemplate. You stagger downstairs and, once you've recovered from so much movement all at once (and secretly despairing of ever getting up the stairs again) you Google the truth out of the Internet.

And there it is: in black and white. Every single thing you've been suffering: blip blip blip. You would shout, 'Eureka!' except that you know you will need to husband all your remaining strength to get back up the stairs to count the 4001st sheep. But the first thing you do in the morning is hammer down the door to your doctor's surgery, being the patient-from-hell-who-knows-what's-wrong-again ... and guess what? You're right. The pill was MAKING YOU SICKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So that is (briefly and without undue exaggeration) why I am not a fan of Amoxicillin, thank you for asking.
(Next week's medical miracle: Alice has appendicitus -- again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Ask Alice

Dear Alice,

I address to you on behalf of teacher's council of our musical college.

More than fifteen years we have attended the training of music for children from five till fourteen years. Unfortunately, because of the heavy economic situation in which for a long time there was Russia, we have for several years not received any financial support from the federal budget. The support rendered to us from the budget of the Moscow government is minimal.

I want to explain, that we do not collect a tuition fee in our college as, otherwise, the majority of parents cannot pay for the training of their children. In view of the set forth above reasons for us it is all the more difficult to acquaint children with music. We face a simply catastrophic situation with regard to teaching material, in particular with regard to sound materials.

We shall be very grateful, if you can send us any records of music on CDs, DVDs or LPs -- even if their boxes are damaged.


Yours faithfully,

Nickolay Carmanow,
The Director

Moscow Musical College
39-5-25, 3-Barkovaya street
105037, Moscow
Russian Federation

Phone: +7-095-5654257
Fax: +7-095-5654258

E-mail 1: MusicalCollege AT bk DOT ru
E-mail 2: MusicalCollege AT mtu-net DOT ru


Dear Nickolay,
I certainly hope that some of my readers may be able to help you, and thanks for giving us so many ways to contact you ... Also good luck with helping (without payment) to assist young Russian musicians to love music -- and to become wonderful musicians.
Very cordially,

Copyright © 27 July 2007 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

Ask Alice




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