|Detail from sleeve of the Adrian Boult |
recording for the Pye label
How I wish that talk could have been this year and to a group of Singaporeans, for there's a concert coming up which, while it features neither big name soloists nor unfamiliar choirs, orchestras or conductors, is nevertheless an absolute must for any supporter of the arts or, indeed, any music-lover. On Friday 15th April the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are performing Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. I've sung in it, played in it and would have given my right arm to conduct it (although that would rather have defeated the purpose, I suppose) and it remains the one work which comes closest to being that elusive thing, "my favourite composition". Funnily enough, I don't have any really outstanding recordings of it, and I couldn't point you to one off the top of my head. But that's because it is one of the very, very few works I can summon up at a moment's notice on any occasion and in any situation from my memory, so firmly etched is it into my consciousness. My personal portable performance is probably an amalgam of some unforgettable performances I've heard in the past.