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Chaps doing things

Herb Greer goes to Oxford to hear Nigel Kennedy play Elgar and Beethoven with a student rchestra. As long as he plays like this, we can forgive him his mannered eccentricity

By Herb Greer   July 1997

Some years ago in a Radio 3 lecture, the British composer Thea Musgrave paused in full flight. “There is one thing you must remember,” she said, “music is chaps doing things.”

Sitting in the Sheldonian Hall at Oxford last month, I had cause to reflect on this. The occasion was a concerto concert by Nigel Kennedy, playing the Beethoven D major and the Elgar B minor. Waiting among an expectant crowd, I wondered what Kennedy would pull out of the hat. He was returning to the concert stage after a fallow period, and playing with a student orchestra. Was there…

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