Thursday, February 13, 2003


Michael Berkeley writing in The Guardian on his father, Sir Lennox Berkeley ('We lived in a secret, intoxicating world'):

I have often been asked if it was difficult having a well-known composer as a father, but curiously it has never worried me. As much as I love Lennox's music, and perhaps as a result of it, I knew from the age of six that I wanted to compose - but in a different, more overt, vein. Writing this now, it occurs to me that Lennox was essentially a classicist. He felt uncomfortable at emotions laid bare, at raw turbulence. It should come as no surprise that Mozart was his God.

Yet for all the difference in our two characters, there are audible connections. Whenever Lennox came back from a Mozart, Verdi or Stravinsky evening, he would go straight to his piano and the score and point out how magically a bassoon or horn held the harmony together with a sustained note and how, conversely, Verdi, say, would sometimes make the vocal line a monotone while the orchestra carried the melody. It was impossible not to be infected by this most subtle and gradual dissemination of technique and idea. (c) Guardian Newspapers / M. Berkeley

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