CLASSICAL & OPERA
Saturday 13 September 1997
The late Dr Eric Fenby, who died earlier this year at the age of 90, held an unusual place in 20th- century musical history. Himself a composer, performer and teacher, all three of those activities are subsumed by what happened in Fenby's life, and which would inform the remaining six decades of it, during the years 1928-1934. In that time the young Fenby assisted the by then blind and paralysed Frederick Delius in completing a number of important late works. The story of how the impressionable Fenby heard a brief snatch of Delius's music on the radio and felt it his mission to travel to Grez-sur-Loing and offer his services as amanuensis has been told many times, maybe nowhere more poignantly than in Ken Russell's Omnibus film A Song of Summer.
Yet, perhaps just as fascinating were Fenby's subsequent lifelong endeavours to uphold the Delius legacy. "Eric never tired in talking about Delius," comments cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, who will be playing the Cello Sonata in Tuesday's recital. "He saw his function as promoter of and spokesman for Delius's work in terms of an ongoing commitment to the man he so admired both as a composer and a friend. Also, if one considers the sheer amount of dedicated effort which Fenby himself put in to finalising some of those late scores, he was always exceptionally modest about that vital role."
Thanks to Fenby, the great tradition of Delius interpretation continues. The Cello Sonata was aired to the dying Delius with Fenby at the piano; in the Wigmore Hall, Lloyd Webber will perform the Sonata using the same instrument played at that performance. "It's an intense, very personal and exceptionally moving piece," the cellist comments. "An unbroken arc of invention in which I virtually never stop playing for some 16 minutes. To me, there is something so expressive about Delius's music. One either loves it or hates it. And for those who love it, a considerable part of that affection comes directly from the inspiration and life force that was Eric Fenby."
EYE ON THE NEW
Two exquisite and rarely heard chamber operas by Marc-Antoine Charpentier - Les Plaisirs de Versailles and La Descente D'orphee aux Enfers - open William Christie and his Les Arts Florissants' lavish three-evening examination of the Golden Age of Baroque theatre music and dance. Barbican Hall, London (0171-638 8891) 18 Sept, 7.30pm
Between the 25-27th of July, Earls Courts’ gloomy interior was doused in shades of bubblegum and parma violets as it played host to Hyper Japan, the venue’s annual celebration of anime, art, Kawaii street fashion and everything that encompasses the term J-culture. Bursting with Japanese pop culture and infused with Asian street food Hyper Japan is an invigorating culture shock that brings cosplayers, creatives and gamers like myself from across the globe.
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Why has a disease that's only ever killed 2,000 people captivated the darkest side of our imagination?
Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
Topless sunbathing is no longer 'du jour' in France
Watch: Vogue Italia's plus-size models in fetish-inspired lingerie shoot
Ebola: UK is ready to deal with outbreak, says Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >
Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...
£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...