Magazine article The Spectator

Insomniac's Heaven

Magazine article The Spectator

Insomniac's Heaven

Article excerpt

If I wake up at too rude an hour to get up - before four o'clock, let's say - Through the Night is my reward:

I switch on the radio and find it to be inhabited not by human s but by music.

This six-hour programme, which runs every night on Radio 3 from half-past 12 (on weeknights) or one o'clock (at weekend s), i s sca rcely inter rupted by the spoken word.

Each piece i s int roduced w ith f r iend ly brev ity, and then le f t to speak for it sel f. No one t r ie s to wake me up, d iver t or enter ta in me . My at tent ion mu st be - and inva r iably is - engaged by the music alone.

At this raw hour, the repertoire can be vivid and entrancing. This morning, for example, between th ree-i sh and fou r-i sh : Schumann's D m inor piano t r io ; a bl i s s fu l chaconne for piano by Niel sen ;

Biber 's ext raord ina ry and wonder fu l Battalia, and a breathtaking harp sonata by Germaine Tailleferre. …

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