Thursday, January 19, 2012

Meanwhile, at 36,000 feet...

Where can you hear Saariaho's L'amour de loin, Ligeti's string quartets, the viola music of Quincy Porter, Philippe Jaroussky singing Caldara, Stephen Hough playing Chopin, Tennstedt's Nereffid's Guide Award-winning Mahler 2, and many, many more? On an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to New York, as it happens. I discovered this last month, and hadn't flown for a year and a half before that, so I don't know how long it's been going on. But hurrah! When they first introduced individual in-flight entertainment the classical selection wasn't much good - a few generic "Best of Beethoven" sort of things. Those are still there, but there's now about fifty "proper" classical albums available too. I don't know how often they change them, though most of the albums seemed to be at most a couple of years old, many of them less than that. One little obscurity I was delighted to find was an album of Fritz Reizenstein's piano music played by Philip Martin, which included his Variations on the Lambeth Walk. Oi!
Now, I must point out that my joy at discovering so much high-quality and/or interesting music on the flight does not mean that I endorse the concept of flying. But I will concede that any mode of transport that allows one to listen to Joan Sutherland and Steve Reich, not to mention play (and, ahem, win) Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and watch Game of Thrones, can't be all bad.

Nereffid accidentally selects the wrong album.

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