Concert Attendance and Reviews Suspended

Ruins of the Mariupol Theatre, Ukraine after the deadly strike. Associated Press (AP) now estimate some 600 people died there when it was bombed (Reuters)

Ruins of the 'House of Culture', Izyum, Donbas Region, Ukraine after missile strikes

Inside the Mariupol Theatre, Ukraine after the deadly strike (Reuters)

Depression with the human suffering and cultural losses in Ukraine continue unabated.

Unfortunately I have also had Covid-19 for a couple of weeks (remember the pandemic?) and have not been able to attend concerts and write reviews since the extraordinary Actus Humanus Festival in Gdańsk this April.

Inside the extraordinary (restored after WW II destruction) Dwór Artusa,  Gdańsk where many of the Actus Humanus Festival concerts take place.

Let us hope the Italian offer to restore the Mariupol Theatre is taken up after this senseless Ukrainian conflagration ceases - but they cannot restore tragically and senselessly murdered lives

* * * * * * * * * *

Musical culture has great power to uplift the heart and spirit ….. but there is also another side to that coin…..
Thomas Mann defined music in his novel ‘Dr. Faustus’ as ‘that cabbalistic craft’. In the Magic Mountain he referred to music as 'politically suspect' and an opiate yet with a great power to console…….but now is not the time to explore the shadows, just the joys and solace music offers the soul.
Music surely is a gateway to the subconscious, an emotional and spiritual realm far beyond the reach of war and the destructive visions of the nationalist narcissism we are witnessing.

The much maligned and misquoted British politician Enoch Powell once made a remark that has stayed with me for years.

He observed: 'Nations as much as individuals live largely in their imagination.'

How appropriate a description of the present suicidal insanity we have been inveigled into....

I hope renewed health and a more buoyant spirit will soon allow me to resume attendance at concerts, recitals, illustrating the glamorous details of great-uncle's glittering pianistic career and indulging my love of the theatre.

The emotions music arouses in my heart just now, especially the nostalgic anguish of Chopin, are a too painful reminder of more romantic and creative times.

Detail of St. George vanquishing the Dragon inside the extraordinary (restored after WW II destruction) Dwór Artusa,  Gdańsk where many of the Actus Humanus Festival concerts take place.

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