Day 133

With all the Bach keyboard music I decide to go back to the simplicity of the unaccompanied Cello  Suites and listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing numbers 4 to 6. The more I listen to Ma’s playing the more absorbing I find it.  At times I have to do other things and get distracted from the superlative playing.

It is also a reminder of what I have learned as an improviser, that a written page of music in the Western tradition contains a relatively small amount of information! One communication theorist estimated that the stave notation system often held only about 20% of the information needed for a performer to realise the work.  The rest of the required data is made up of a combination of performance tradition and the performers own interpretation. This is something which newcomers to music find difficult to accept.

In the evening there is more rugby – Cardiff vs Uruguay. The gulf in class is clear with Cardiff’s second string team comfortably beating the South Americans. Nevertheless it is an open game and while there are frequent stops for rule infringements, the passages of play are fluid and exciting.

I am working my way through the early chapters of Parry’s The Way of All Flesh. It is well written and though the start of the plot is pretty brutal I find I already care about the characters, particularly the main protagonist.

Staying up late to see the early results from the US Midterm elections.  After getting the last US Presidential election and the Brexit result so wrong pundits are loathe to comment. But even to me it seems clear that the Democrats have done reasonably, though not spectacularly, well. The first Senate result is the re-election of one of my favourite politicians, Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with the Democrats.