Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 11, 2011

Monday, 11th July 2011 – a few little notes on music, and other matters.

Found a couple of little interesting bits and  pieces in the current edition of Limelight magazine, which I shared with my listeners yesterday morning.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the historical significance of the instruments that the four members of the Australian String Quartet currently use in their concerts. Well, obviously, they are not alone in making use of historic string instruments.  For the past four years, the Australian Chamber Orchestra  [ACO] has been enriched by principal violinist Richard Tognetti’s $10 million 1743 Carrodus violin, which is rumoured to have been played by the composer Paganini. Now I’m assuming  that the instrument ‘is on loan’ to the orchestra, as it is inconceivable that the orchestra could pay out that kind of money. On a lower level, but equally significant, is the most recent acquisition by the ACO –  a $1.79 million violin made between 1728 and 1729 by Antonio Stradivari, considered to be music’s most revered instrument maker, of whose craft only 650 specimens survive – the Stradivarius violins. I’m surprised there are that many in existence considering some of the price tags that are attached to them.  In fact, this one is actually owned by the ACO – it was purchased through the ACO’s Instrument Fund, making it the only Australian owned Stradivarius.

The other item I found of interest relates to one of Australia’s modern icons – the Sydney Opera House. Despite it’s glamorous and flashy external appearance, it currently leaves a lot to be desired inside, especially in respect to the performance of opera. Performers have complained that they can’t hear the orchestra properly, while singing their roles  –  because the orchestra pit is ‘underneath’ the stage, which prompts Francis Merson in ‘Limelight’ to ask ‘This raises two questions; firstly what’s the point of putting an orchestra where it can’t be heard on stage? Secondly, if the orchestra can’t be heard where it is, what’s the point of leaving it there?’ The other concern is that operas of the scope and size of Wagner’s ‘Ring cycle’ can’t be staged at the Sydney Opera House because there is not enough room!! It is to be staged in Melbourne in 2013, but many argue that our Sydney ‘icon’ should be the venue. I’ve only been to one ‘performance’ and that was a Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta, though I did get the opportunity through an architect uncle to do a tour of the Opera House when it was under construction back in around 1965. Merson’s cutting point is ‘If the government cares about our national icon, then it must ensure its future as a functional opera house, not just as a backdrop for happy snaps’.

And finally, whilst talking classics, I notice there is a new movie in town – a French film called ‘Mozart’s Sister’, which explores the life W A Mozart’s older sister, Nanneri, who was an accomplished musician  in her own right, but whose talents took a back seat to her boy child brother prodigy.  I’m thinking I must make an effort to have a look at that one!,

Following on from last night’s brief look at the Tour de France, the series of crashes which occurred during yesterday’s Stage were even worsened when a media car collided with two cyclists  injuring them both [though I think at least one of them may have continued to race after being bandaged up a little.  Some angry repercussions were likely to follow that incident. The day’s riding saw the emergence of a new wearer of the ‘Yellow Jersey’, and also saw  Cadel Evans slip back a position in the overall ratings, though he still has a week of mountain riding ahead, Evan’s speciality.  Stage 9 results were:

  • 1.Luis-Leon Sanchez, Rabobank Cycling Team, 5h 27′ 09″
  • 2. Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar, at 00:05
  • 3. Sandy Casar, Fdj, at 00:13
  • 4. Philippe Gilbert, Omega Pharma – Lotto, at 03:59
  • 5. Peter Velits, Htc – Highroad, at 03:59
  • 6. Cadel Evans, Bmc Racing Team, at 03:59

While the progressive situation sees a change at the top, with Evans now back into 3rd spot.

  • Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar, 38h 35′ 11″
  • 2. Luis-leon Sanchez, Rabobank Cycling Team, at 01:49
  • 3. Cadel Evans, Bmc Racing Team, at 02:26
  • 4. Frank Schleck, Team Leopard-Trek, at 02:29
  • 5. Andy Schleck, Team Leopard-Trek, at 02:37
  • 6. Tony Martin, Htc – Highroad, at 02:38

Meanwhile, last night’s British F1 Grand Prix race saw Fernando Alonso win the race ahead of the two Red Bull drivers – Sebastian Vettel and Australia’s Mark Webber, who was ordered by the Team ‘not’ to pass Vettel in the closing stages when he had the opportunity to do so. The reason given – for safety reasons!!

In the meantime, following on from yesterday’s Carbon Tax announcement,  my email inwards box has \being quick to hear from the Liberal Party, keen to let me know what various members of the business community think of it all.

Business Council of Australia  “On a preliminary reading it appears the government’s proposal …will bring a range of additional risks and costs to industry and the economy.”Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive, 10 July 2011   Minerals Council of Australia  “It will impose the highest carbon price in the world, compromising the competitiveness of Australia’s export and import competing sectors without environmental benefit.”\ “With no other nation implementing an economy-wide carbon tax, this is a dangerous experiment with the Australian economy.” Media Release, 10 July 2011     Australian Food and Grocery Council  “The carbon package – which only provides $150 million over six years in assistance to industry – is not enough to ensure the long-term competitiveness of Australia’s $102 billion food and grocery sector, employing more than 288,000 people.”\  Kate Carnell, Chief Executive, 10 July 2011

Well, I’ve decided to wait and see, rather than adapt the Tony Abbott ongoing opposition to everything – he is really starting to get at this Liberal supporter I think  -when he came on the radio this morning, and immediately starting to talk about lies and trust in respect to the Prime Minister, rather than addressing the issues themselves, I switched him off!!  No more Tony, get off that ‘bandwagon’, you are turning me off through your methods, and approach to this whole question of opposition!  That was how he started last night’s email message, in the same mode of attack and negativity –  it may all be true, but I for one, am sick of hearing this particular message.

“Today’s announcement of the Labor-Green carbon tax sealed Julia Gillard’s betrayal of the Australian people. Six days prior to the last election, she said: “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.  The day before the election she said: “I rule out a carbon tax”.  This toxic tax will drive up prices, threaten jobs and do nothing for the environment……….”


I was late to bed last night  – too much international sport on the TV, and I am in for another late one tonight –  but on the radio this time, from 9pm until midnight! Leaving a warm home, to the delights of a Winter’s night in Sunbury. Hopefully the heating system will be working in the studio this time – it wasn’t yesterday morning.





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