Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goldie gets Silver

Flicked on yet another BBC variant on the celebrity dancing idea last night. 'Maestro' pitted some minor league celebrities against each other at conducting! Conducting, folks! Thankfully I tuned in at the final missing all the preamble. Amazingly Goldie, yes that Goldie, was streets ahead of all competition. He did a pretty fine interpretation of Elgar's 'Nimrod' from the Enigma Variations and no less a personage than Sir Roger Norrington proclaimed grandly, 'This man is a conductor!' And he was right.
In the final 'play-off', Goldie and second placer 'comedienne', Sue Perkins, had to each conduct the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth. The judges were out and instead the viewers would phone vote the winner. Perkins, pulling faces both on and off the podium, looked like an unfortunate Tourette's sufferer trying not to shout that last obscenity. Her interpretation sounded that way too; staccato and piecemeal, calculated to shock rather than convince. Goldie, on the other hand, knew what he wanted to do and did it. His movement was coherent, abiding by an overall vision of the piece, planned to achieve a poetic overall effect. To my mind he played it as Norrington might have, that is, as Beethoven might have. His reading had none of the affectation Perkins trowelled on in an effort to please.
Of course, the public voted Perkins the winner. The artificial won out over the authentic. Never thought I'd say it, but the guy was robbed. Shame on you public, shame on you! But then BBC and phone votes don't always go hand in hand.


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