JUDY KRAVIS

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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Talking to C yesterday about experiencing music from inside, as a player, one among eight timpanists for the Berlioz Requiem, for example, in a semi-circle at the back of the orchestra and what that felt like. The tiny runkles and adjustments, the gut mistakes and penance. She could only listen, from the audience, from the auditorium, if she didn't know any of the players, she said. So she wouldn't have to empathise with the horn player coming in a bit late, you know. 

The musician has to face the music. With lipstick.

The writer has to face the page. Without lipstick.

The novels of Elizabeth Taylor are orchestral, or chamber pieces, mid-twentieth century dull and then surreal. Am I reading from the strings, the horns, the timpani or the two-hundred strong choir? Or from my chair by the stove coming up to the winter solstice? Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont followed by Blaming, Elizabeth Taylor's last novel. 

Gareth got up and helped himself to another drink. The telephone conversation, when at last it began, was terse. 

When it was over, he asked, " Is she a counter-irritant?"

"No, just an irritant; sometimes like a dead albatross. Talking of irritants, that awful Vicar came again the other day. I do wish he would not. They simply think they can call without being invited, as in what Dora talks of as the old-fashioned days. I was so glad to see  him go."

"Then he accomplished something, coming here. "


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