God Rot Tunbridge Wells!

For mangling Messiah at an amateur concert in the composer’s later years, “and blessedly keep it.”

Handel fulminates and reminisces in his Brook Street home, scenes of his life (“occasionally”) are played out as background to this.

“Places, what places! ...ah, Dublin.”

This is very like Resnais’ Providence in a way, and amidst the scenes is one culled from Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.

Trevor Howard gives a highly-elaborate vocal rendition, amid his general characterization of the blind old man.


England, My England

The problem is stated thus, In Good King Charles’ Golden Days by Bernard Shaw, in the hands of the English Stage Company with the actor Simon Callow as Charles II, is not doing well at the Royal Court Theatre, something wrong with the production somewhere, the producer wants the drama of the age, Dryden, Purcell and all that. Callow researches and writes him a play called Purcell.

Dryden narrates the film, which is Purcell’s life.

The cast at the Royal Court play leading roles, King Charles, Purcell, Pepys, Nell Gwynn, the dresser (who thinks Shaw is “creaky”) plays Shaftsbury, the parallel construction brings on James II, William and Mary, Purcell’s wife, a very large cast.

The artist in history, a court musician, particular circumstances.

The Debussy Film (dir. Russell) and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (dir. Reisz) will do for the very general idea, in both senses. Purcell is something of a mystery, and things were very different then.

“Fairest Isle” concludes the piece.