Hah! I’ll bet you were thinking that I was going to write about the usual sort of expat stuff, such as supermarkets and broadband and foodstuffs.
Well, there’ll be a touch of this, but in all honesty, I don’t miss much about the UK.
I do miss stuff from my previous home, Jakarta in Indonesia. Chillis, for example and Tahu Seafood ala Padzzi (one of my favourite restaurants) and really great Indian food. Aaah.
I can buy foodstuffs from Indonesia though, as there is an excellent online store in Germany. The site is in Bahasa Indonesia and German, so it’s a bit of guesswork as to what to click next, but I got there.
I don’t eat bread, so the traditional ‘Waah I miss Marmite’ whinge isn’t so important, but yes, I’d like some more please – ooh and HP Sauce.
So, what do I miss out here in the sticks?
Well, I would love to find a piano tuner – and an accompanist. I have a huge library of bel canto arias and English songs and I miss making music.
I’d like to find a choir to sing in/with and I’d like to meet some other musos and some other recorder players. I have so much music just sitting there waiting to be played and no one to play with…wobbly bottom lip here…
Until then, there’s Red Priest. The most exciting Baroque group ever, led by the most talented and virtuosic recorder player in the world, Piers Adams.
My friend Hazel sent me their cds and I was entranced and transfixed, my mind full of racing notes and pure tones.
The Four Seasons, oh how do I love thee, Vivaldi? Well actually, it’s the playing of Red Priest who shake up the old favourites. The first movement of Spring is so well known and it’s easy to think, hmm I’ll move on, but listen again and hear just how difficult those runs are. You can almost hear the mind-bending feats of fingering (no not what you think, you who have dirty minds). Well I can and I salute you, Piers Adams.
‘Yohann, I’m only dancing’ is last year’s recording and it’s a mix of JS’s best bits. The Prelude from the Suite for Lute, rearranged by Piers and gang brings the themes and retrograde themes into crystal clarity. It’s a much heard piece, but this is the version which I think show old Bach at his best.
The transposed Sonata in A minor, which I swear was E minor when I played it, is one of the few that I can actually play along with. It’s difficult, but what the heck, I’m not a bad player.
I love the Toccata and Fugue, the most famous of organ pieces (possibly not even JS) but it works.
This is my favourite recording right now. It even beats PDQ Bach, aka Peter Schickele, my sanity-saving hero. I still love his humourous twists and turns, but I’ve become fickle – maybe there’s room in my heart for you both, my musical loves.