23 March 2009

Counterpoint semi-final spoiler alert

I'll be going to the final tomorrow night, but I won't be in it. Which is a pity but I feel OK because the semi-final was unbelievably close and a slightly different set of questions could have changed the outcome. Also, the winner of the other semi-final looked unbeatable.

The other good feeling was caused by the fact I had a specialist round that was proppa classical music: classical songs und Lieder. Half the answers were in German, um Gottes Willen! (Die schöne Müllerin, Beim Schlafengehen, Am Abendrot, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) So that felt like I'd earned my right to be there after the "British pop music before the Beatles" in the last round. Australian classical musicians came up again, and was easier than expected: Joan Sutherland of course was the first answer; others included Nellie Melba, Percy Grainger and Charles Mackerras.

Other answers I was proud of: Freddie Hubbard, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch. (I only got one point for the last five! Outrage!)

I thought I had escaped the curse of G&S. Alan, to my right, had a question about Sir Arthur Sullivan (the answer being Box & Cox), but then my question was a musical extract: some prats singing about a sausage roll in G&S's last opera; what's the name of the opera? The question bizarrely both confirmed my dislike of G&S and showed that I should have done my homework. Even without having to listen to the crap crap crap music, I could have known what G&S's last opera was. Actually, I've forgotten the answer already.

Honestly, though, surely the rest of the world (apart from America) totally ignores the music of G&S. It's what led Germans to regard England as a country without music. Is there any equivalent elsewhere - a music that is only honoured (but massively honoured) in its homeland? Zarzuela, perhaps, or the French chanteuse Barbara.

What's next?

1 comment :

Keith said...

Personally I quite like Gilbert and Sullivan - it is perfect nonsense summing up the British love of everything irrelevant and ridiculous. At the recording, the song about sausage rolls got the biggest laugh of the night. Only in England!

I don't like German or Italian opera because - well, I don't speak German or Italian.