Wednesday, September 04, 2002


Gerard Hoffnung. This, like some of the other things on the list, is my father's fault. He had the books, which must be early editions, since they are hardbacks. I spent many happy evenings perusing Hoffnung's wonderful cartoons, and many of the things I know about classical music come, in some way or other, from them. He is also the originator of the bricklayer story, which I have heard attributed to dozens of different people - it's available on one of the BBC recordings in its original form - Hoffnung playing it straight while the audience goes into convulsions. (Even on the link I posted, it's treated as an urban legend, while at the same time being credited to Hoffnung)

Recommended for anyone who thinks that classical music is stuffy and lacking in humour.

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