Welcome first free day in what seems like weeks! Of course it’s not entirely free. Some homework necessary on upcoming ‘Medea in Corinto’ for Munich, and Aix’s ‘Alceste’ and even for 2012 Salzburg Festival. Then stacks of E-mails. This medium, so wonderful in so many ways is also imprisoning. The communication is almost too easy. As someone whose life is not primarily about sitting down at a computer throughout the day, I am frequently facing ninety minutes of E-mail replies at midnight after a long day’s conducting.
Discover to my delight I can attend (with my son Samuel) my beloved Arsenal on Saturday. We are not finished yet and the team will be fired-up after yet another brutal tackle broke yet another Arsenal player’s leg last Saturday. When will the Premiership get some consistent refereeing standards? At the moment it seems as if referees are content to punish the worst 20% of offences whatever the style of game. So sides like Stoke get away with much more than Fulham and Arsenal. Wenger is quite right to complain.
I spend the afternoon reading Egon Friedell’s ‘Cultural History of the Modern Age’. A must-read for anyone concerned about our European civilisation. This great stylist, who committed suicide, rather than be taken by the Nazis, provides in one slim volume a cultural history of the last six centuries. Other reading matter: Winton Dean’s ‘Handel’s Operas (2 volumes – Boydell Press) is essential reading for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Handel, as is the newish ‘Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia’, expensive but terrific to dip into. Tamerlano is covered in Volume 1 of Dean.