Dubstep Symphony, Radio 1/1 Xtra, Monday
Rattigan Season, Radio 4, All Week
Just been punched by Nijinsky's sister
Sunday 12 June 2011
I'm all for experiments in musical fusion, even if the result is sometimes more yoking than synthesis.
Who can forget Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra? Dubstep Symphony, a collaboration between the BBC Philharmonic and the electronic duo Nero, marked the first big broadcast from the Corporation's new northern gaff, Media City UK on Salford Quays. It was presented by Zane Lowe and MistaJam, who built up the atmosphere nicely in front of a live audience, though I wish someone had told Lowe, a Kiwi, that "Salford" doesn't rhyme with "Halford".
The main event was exhilarating, even if there seemed be an awful lot of symphony and very little dubstep. It was hugely enjoyable with its Glassy arpeggios and soaring flourishes, but dubstep, M'lud, is characterised by great slabs of sub-bass moving under the beats like tectonic plates, and I didn't hear any of that.
Still, the man from the Philharmonic, Joe Duddell, has fusion form, having arranged some Elbow songs for the Hallé Orchestra a while ago, and his efforts were appreciated by one of the Nero lads, who purred: "Joe got the instruments to play each part in a really nice way." Bless.
Radio 4 has been marking the Terence Rattigan centenary with its usual sure hand – riveting performances of some of his plays, and daily reminiscences in The Rattigan Versions. First up was the director Adrian Brown: "I was working with the Marquis de Quaver's ballet company when we met," he began. "I'd just been punched by Nijinsky's sister."
Mark Lawson asked him about the bad old days, when being gay, as Rattigan was, could be a dangerous business. "Well, Mark, you say that," said Brown, "and people say, oh, what a terrible time, Lily Law breathing down our necks, and the shadow of prison bars – not at all! We had a wonderful time and there were wonderful parties ... we had much more fun than anybody else."
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