The alternating-grandparent system means the LdPs will be alone for Christmas Eve and Day. “Why not avoid presents and buy in some opera DVDs,” said Mrs LdP, thus despatching telly and the Queen’s Speech to Uttar Pradesh. So here’s what £124 looks like in disc form. And here’s why.
Mozart three pack, Salzburg Festival. Flute and Cosi are familiars, something to fall back on if we overreach ourselves intellectually. Neither of us has seen La Clemenza di Tito.
Strauss: Capriccio. Clever, witty words vs. music theme with Kiri te Kanawa. We had this on VHS cassette (also with KtK) but in a different performance. We’re both Strauss (Richard, that is, not the waltz man) freaks.
Strauss: Elektra. We have it on CDs but it’s pretty jagged, very modern Strauss and you need something to watch. Birgitte Fassbinder very, very dramatic soprano.
Janacek: Jenufa. New for us. Said not to be a bundle of laughs. But we’ve both been moving towards Janacek for a year or two now.
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin. New for us. It’ll be the first Russian opera we’ve ever seen.
An austere Christmas? If we get depressed we can put on the CHRISTMAS ORATORIO; try it for two or three minutes - bloody marvellous drums and an inauthentically large and exuberant choir. Otherwise there’s two white burgundies and a fino and a manzanilla (sherries). Plus reds from under the stairs.
Finally, at age 76, glasses. All the better for wine labels and movie sub-titles.
Cheers to all. Remember: music can be taken neat or as a supplement to many other pleasures. Suggested New Year resolution: try a new composer born on or after 1911.