this, as the fourth movement has in it one of my favorite passages--that where Strephon unbuttons his coat.
From now on it is anybody's game. The A minor prelude, with its persistent chromatic descent, conflicts with the andante sostenuto, where the strings take the melody in bars 7 and 8, and the undeniably witty theme is carried on to its logical conclusion in bars 28 and 30, where the pay-off comes when the man tells his wife that he was in the pantry all the time. I nearly die at this every time that I hear it. Unfortunately, I don't hear it often enough, or long enough at a time.
This, in a way, brings to a close our little analysis of whatever it was we were analyzing. If I have made music a little more difficult for you to like, if I have brought confusion into your ear and complication into your taste, I shall be happy in the thought. The next time you hear a symphony, I trust that you will stop all this silly sitting back and taking it for what it is worth to your ear-drums to your emotions, and will put on your thinking caps and try to figure out just what the composer meant when he wrote it. Then perhaps you will write and tell the composer.
Caryl Brahms and Ned Sherrin
Editor's Note: In 1931 there appeared the first truly memorable history of England entitled 1066 and All That by Walter C. Sellar and Robert J. Yeatman. Some years later, Richard Armour, an American, applied the same techniques to American history in It All Started with Columbus. This effort turned out to be somewhat less than truly memorable because, appearing as it did years before the Bicentennial, the book confronted a public disinclined either to remember or disremember American history. That has now changed, and at this opportune moment two British writers have come forward with their version of our past. Memorable it is.