Monday, December 26, 2022
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Molly Drake | Stephen Jones: a blog

Cate DID

Desert Island Discs continually reveals the private meanings of music in our lives. Cate Blanchett’s considerate current choice included Mahler 5, featured in her new film Tár, through which she performs a conductor—regardless of rave evaluations, I look ahead to watching it with a sure trepidation, since Western Art Music seldom comes off frivolously by the hands of administrators (cf. Philharmonia). Anyway, her alternative of the second motion (with Abbado, besides!) was most discerning.

I’ve to confess that I’ve by no means warmed to the voice of Kathleen Ferrier, though I’m a devoted fan of Janet Baker. The sequence typically suggests Christopher Small’s plea to recognise the worth of every kind of musicking, not merely the “prestigious” (cf. What is severe music?!), and visitors typically embody a monitor of newbie, home musicking that evokes intense reminiscences or associations.

Cate introduces Molly Drake (1915–93; playlist), observing: “So private, she was making music inside her home, for herself really… she gives me quiet courage.” Her alternative is The little weaver chicken:

Pundits have made a hyperlink between Molly’s “melancholy meditations on the fragility of happiness” and people of her son Nick.

Cate Blanchett’s last disc was Count Basie’s mantric, hypnotic rendition of Lil Darlin’ (one other present from Tár):

Right on the finish Basie slips in a little quote from In my solitude.

Here’s one other recording, by the fantastic Sant Andreu jazz band (cf. right here, and sequel):



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