Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Impressing em

Writing in my last post about Ralph Vaughan Williams[^] reminded me of an afternoon in 1979. I'd just met Sue, who later became my first wife (Hi Sue!) and she'd taken me around to meet her best friend, who later became Robins wife.

As part of meeting Rosemary it was obligatory to meet her mother. Gwen was a well meaning woman but perhaps a trifle strait laced. She certainly didn't seem to appreciate meeting a long haired lower class geek.

As luck would have it her kitchen radio was tuned to 3AR, which in those days was still pumping out classical music on AM. ABC FM has long since taken over that responsibility and, as far as I can remember, being nearly four years removed from Australia, 3AR (Radio National) does religious programs and critical analysis. I miss 3AR!

But on that wintry day in 1979 they were playing classical music. A piece I didn't know but it had all the fingerprints of early 20th century British music.

So if Rosemary's mum notices that I'm listening to the kind of music she would never have thought I'd listen to it's time to play it up. As for why it's time to play it up I have no idea. It really wasn't important that I impress Gwen. Let's chalk it up to ego and a chance to take an example of smug middle class down a peg or two! Whatever.

A few educated guesses and some wankerspeak and I'd decided, out loud, that it was most probably Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis[^].

You could have knocked me down with a feather when the music ended and the announcer confirmed my educated guess!

Gwen struggled mightily with her middle class prejudices after that; somehow she could never get over the fact that I 'knew' classical music!

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