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Category: Culture

21 March – Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn Piano Trio No.1, op.49 in D-minor

Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)

Mendelssohn died aged just 38. But he had accomplished so much.

I am reading ‘Year of Wonder‘ by Clemency Burton-Hill. It looks at one piece of classical music each day. A worthwhile book, it prompts listening .. and that leads to more wonderful pieces.

Mendelssohns – Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (op. 25) , Yuja Wang, Kurt Masur (Full)


I need this. We need this .. Renewal. Rebirth. Monteverdi is a Renaissance composer and this piece of music celebrates, O Zepher Return, celebrates the return to Spring.

From Wikipedia: An equinox is commonly regarded as the instant of time when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth‘s equator passes through the center of the Sun.[3] This occurs twice each year: around 20 March and 23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the Equator. In the northern hemisphere, the equinox in March is called the Vernal or Spring Equinox; the September equinox is called the Autumnal or Fall Equinox.


Attacks by people claiming to be ‘on the Left’ on Gilad Atzmon are attacks on freedom of expression. They are part of an irrationalism within the party and the so called ‘Left’ but they do not represent the Labour Party or any true Left any more than the CAA represents Jewish people. This is my response on YouTube to Atzmon’s understandable counter attack.

This is a completely unnecessary battle that is damaging for all concerned. I disagree with your view concerning JVL. While I do not like the notion of identity based political groups I understand that they may be necessary in particular circumstances. And when the Board of Deputies, JLM, CAA and LFI are powerful voices claiming to speak on behalf of the ‘Jewish community’ there is surely a need for a JVL to counter that claim. If I were Jewish and groups like JLM and CAA were claiming to speak for me I would take it personally and would wish to have my voice heard as a Jew.

You are of course entitled to your view. I have read your writings and have found nothing hateful, racist or antisemitic in them though not everyone may understand your use of irony and humour and you do not seem to make concessions to people’s sensitivities. It is not surprising that some people like Owen Jones and the leadership of Momentum jump on the Jewdas bandwagon in condemning you for being you but I have not heard of any attacks on you from either Corbyn or JVL.

It seems clear that the Labour party has been a pro-Zionist and latterly neoliberal party and that those elements are powerful within it. What we are experiencing is a kickback against Corbyn’s challenge to their power. With the excrable Tom Watson organising a ‘counter revolution’ within Labour and with a MSM almost wholly ranged against him, Corbyn’s strategy of keeping his eyes on the prize of a democratic socialist government is highly intelligent. It is right to resist and expose the empty irrationalism of those who are attacking you and freedom of expression but we should also understand the fight that Corbyn and his allies like Chris Williamson are engaged in. Very few of us could stay the course under that sort of pressure. Corbyn continues to do so and Corbyn continues to deserve our support.


I had expected more. More meaning, more connection, more intimacy. The women on stage looked peaceful, serene, as though they had something to say but there were only words, weighty words perhaps, well pronounced words, words we could reflect on perhaps but words not used to connect or to communicate. Words that did not connect to become sentences in a piece that did not connect with me. Maybe that lack of connectedness was the point, as the piece (not sure I can call it a play) was about the medieval practice of anchoritism where women withdrew from the world and essentially entombed themselves in small spaces to better know God. Maybe the piece was structured to evoke a sense of fellow feeling with these anchorites who were attracted by the concept of being alone with God and found themselves merely alone, trapped, despairing, with the deadening reverberations of their own thoughts. If this was the intention then it worked and my not enjoying it was perhaps the point.

Commented on Guardian Review

Divina Banda

There is a translation of the lyrics here.

Kate Tempest’s Progress


This guy has style.

Pas Raho – Be Near Me

Many years ago a Pakistani friend gave me a tape of ghazals sung by a woman with a haunting voice and written by the poet Faiz whose words were equally haunting. I lost the tape but did not forget the voice and was pleased to hear it again. There is a link to a translation here:

Although the words sound romantic and the poem is very beautiful in itself, I understand there are political undertones relating to the separation between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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