Music Tonight's BBC Prom introduced us to the work of Berio with his Sinfonia, a five act piece, a sometimes beautiful, often crazy but never less than compelling piece from the late 60s. I usually run a country mile and further away from anything as abstract as this, which in essence sounded like a bored toddler whose discovered the random skip function on his Classic FM loving parent's mp3 player with influences and steals from across classical music history chopped up and served in five inter-related acts. I was particularly looking forward to the participation of the The Swingle Singers for whom the piece was originally written and they were in there, not just providing chorus but also acting or shouting Proustian phrases fighting to be heard above the orchestra.

All which said, it was probably worth tuning in anyway for the interval adventures of the magical Angellica Bell who, in a pitch perfect imitation of one of the presenters from the second series of Look Around You, managed to tell an eighty year old founding member of The Swingle Singers that she wished she looked like him at his age (what, an old man with gray hair?) and to say the word Promundrum with almost a straight face, even though it's not a real word. The first improv was after telling the world his age, and although she was obviously empathizing with him, it wasn't so much what she said as the way -- you get the idea.

Promundrums is the proms competition in which the viewer has to provide a one word answer based on the available hints -- and judging by the example given on air which didn't make a whole lot of sense it's basically a cross between Dingbats and the kinds of clues that were the stock in trade of Ted Roger's 3-2-1. Here's the first clue for this week's competition:


The answer being related to one of this week's many proms. Babel Fish says that 'Ansiosamente' is Italian for Anxiously (which is fitting) but the rest? I'm guess that it's the opening bar of some ultra famous work that the kind of muso I'm not will have identified as soon at appeared. Are those treble clefts? Really, I have no ideas. Where's my friend Richard Coppell, classical music buff, when he's needed?

More tomorrow, presumably.


  1. Anonymous8:51 am

    It's a bass clef rather than a treble clef, and the C-with-a-line-through indicates it's in common (i.e. 4/4) time.

    I'm not too sure about the upside-down bass clef at the right though, but we may just be beyond my grade 2 music theory knowledge :-)

  2. Anonymous10:09 am

    No they are bass clef's