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This report is taken from PN Review 256, Volume 47 Number 2, November - December 2020.

Concert at Walpole Old Chapel
From the Journals, 5 August 1990
R.F. Langley
Fifty and more people in the afternoon in Walpole Chapel1 for the Mladi Ensemble ... one row circling the front of the balcony – old men and women with their heads on their folded arms, chins tucked in, watching and listening intently like children ... white hair, black spectacles, sun-browned, polished bald head, one man by the far window (which the old lady cracked and thumped across to open, right back, then it blew to, so she returned with a book and jammed it open, from which something of cool air now shifts across up here) seated thrown back on his arm, unlike the rest, glum, frog-wide mouth, catching me looking when I do, the deus ex machina of the whole.

Young man, blue shirt, round to the north side, sulky Masaccio-type face, unmoved ... seated more intently forward, later in the programme, more obviously caught, by Beethoven’s Duo no.3 in B flat major – where the dapper, dark-stubbled clarinettist and the more lugubrious, jokey-looking bassoonist whose keys click and clatter like machine guns in fast passages, return alone ... then in their last piece, the Nielsen Wind Quintet Opus 43, most intense and interesting, the main point of this afternoon’s performance ... next to his girlfriend, with small face amidst abundant blonde locks, and her mother.

Down below in the box pews, sectioned off in units, boarded into little sheds in groups ... a middle-aged woman in glasses with a permanently smiling grin, sometimes tilting her head back to fix a sightless ...


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