Quotes (5)

  • My mother had a beautiful voice. She was a classically trained singer who never had the career she should have had. My father was a very enthusiastic tenor who sang on his horse and on his tractor and in his woods. We always sang music at grace.
  • It was completely natural to me that you marked the seasons with music. When it was spring you sang spring music. When it was autumn you sang harvest music. My mother used to do a Nativity play at Christmas and a Resurrection play at Easter, and professional musicians used to come and she would get local farm workers and children from the village to do the acting in mime.
  • [on choosing to adopt the use of period instruments] I'd come up against a brick wall. I was doing concert performances of Rameau's operas, and we tried as hard as we could putting gut strings on modern instruments and getting the wind players to listen to period instruments, and it was just the wrong tools. It was like painting a landscape using thick bristle brushes. You needed something more subtle.
  • If you think about it, the written page of music is so limiting. It's one stage: the moment when the butterfly is being pinned to the board and chloroformed. What you are trying to do as a conductor is to get to the previous stage, where it is still fluid in the imagination of a composer.
  • To sustain organic farming at a commercial level is tricky today, because of the weather and the debate over genetically modified crops. It's no good being nostalgic in either organic farming or the music business. You have to adapt and be commercially alert. And you have to be bold and daring and not go down a conventional route.