Friday 27 October 2000
Made a quick call to Marie first thing this morning to discuss the various materials we’re sending out to promoters, hustling for next year’s gigs. This week’s principal victims are York Early Music Festival and a British Council event in Rome. After that, I spent the rest of the day as a producer of one sort or another.
Last night an old colleague from my days writing music for TV rang to see if I was interested in doing a theme tune. Haven’t done that kind of thing for a few years now, but it wasn’t an urgent job (telly jobs are usually very urgent, as no-one thinks about the music until it’s nearly too late), so I said yes.
I opened this morning’s Guardian to see that a CD that I’d produced was ‘Classical CD of the Week’ – a live recording of Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera with the SCO and Andrew Parrott, recorded in Glasgow last February. Most ‘live’ CD recordings are made over a number of nights, perhaps with additional patching sessions to fix the dodgy moments, and then hundreds, or even of thousands, of edits are made to stick all the best bits together. Not so this one – one performance, with the sound tidied up a bit. It sounds pretty good if I say so myself.
Then today saw the first of a series of lunchtime concerts I’m producing for the BBC at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Carolyn Sampson gave a wonderfully dramatic performance of Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos with Gary Cooper. The last time I heard that piece I was playing it on the radio myself with Catherine Bott, and I hadn’t realised before now just how fast we take some of it: our version is about 3 minutes shorter! Gary’s playing just gets better and better – we resolved to play duets and drink beer sometime when I’m in London – and Carolyn is a star in the making.
This evening I had a meeting with some of Mr McFall’s Chamber about the second CD that I’m producing of theirs. I nearly talked myself into playing a harmonica solo on one track, but I think I was just reticent enough about the idea to be able to back out of it again gracefully. As a point of principle, all the advance plans for both of these CDs have been made on the back of one large brown envelope – it’s getting a bit grubby now.