September 06, 2004
Architecture and classical music on the telly

My TV system doesn't record digitally, and the analogue reception is garbage. Eventually I'll have some kind of Tivo/hard disc gismo. Meanwhile, life's too short to lash up an answer that will be obsolete soon anyway. So I generally now either watch stuff when it's on, or not at all

This evening I watched the first of four shows on BBC3 about guerrilla homes, which means little boxes craned onto the top of bigger buildings, or just lashed up without planning permission buit prettily enough then to be tolerated, from a kit of parts. Said presenter Charlie Luxton: "Planning permission sucks." Go Charlie. Now tell us what you think of property rights. Maybe you think they suck too? But without them, it's anarchy, and not in a good way.

Then I watched a Channel 4 documentary about the design of the new tower they're building in New York to replace the Twin Towers. I seem to recall hailing the idea of teaming Libeskind with SOM's David Childs as a good one. This show made it look like a complete mess. The Childs design would have been pretty good. The Libeskind design would have been pretty good. The Childs/Libeskind/Governor of New York design looks like it's going to be pretty bad, with a stupid, pointless point stuck on the top, in a way that has damn all to do with what is underneath it. Scroll down here for more about this show.

And then I switched to hearing the last bit of Messiaen's Éclairs sur l'Au-delà…, on BBC4. Very fine, by the sound of it, as supplied in their customary fine sound by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Rattle.

Here is a link to the CD they've recently done of this piece. I think this will sell very well, and that in three months it will be havable in HMV Oxford Street for way less than full price.

I have been trying to like Messiaen's piano music recently, but have yet to succeed. The Turangulila Symphony sounds just that tiny bit too slushy and Mantovani-ish for my taste. This sounded rather better. On the strength of what I heard, I want the CD of all of it. When it's come down a bit.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:58 PM
Category: ArchitectureClassical musicTV