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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Culture in the provinces

Saturday, February 21st., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

Pianoforte recital by F.M. at Frinton Hall last night in aid of Tendring Parish funds. Hall centrally heated but draughty. Uncomfortable chairs. Rush-bottomed chair (cost about 3s.) for pianist. Old Broadwood baby grand. Pedal creaked. Rotten tone. Ladies of Frinton and Tendring parishes in evening dress. two parsons who felt they must speechify afterwards. Pianist a man about 40, agreeable, slightly curt smile. Ferocious look when he was playing often. Beethoven, Rameau, Chopin, Scarlatti, Debussy, Liszt, etc. Piano impossible. Intense, almost tragic sadness of provincial music affairs, second-rate or tenth-rate under bad conditions. A gentle snobbishness (artistically) among the women. One man (friend of the pianist) called out 2 or 3 times after a piece, amid the applause, " 'Core, 'core," very loudly and staccato. And he had his encore. Audience determined to appreciate high-class music, and applauding the noisiest and most showy. Crass inertia and stupidity of sundry women around me, determined to understand and to enjoy nothing.

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