I had a short stroll around Orford yesterday morning before leaving for Aldeburgh and lunch at The Lighthouse, a popular and delightful place in the heart of the little town. Orford is one of the places around here associated with Benjamin Britten, and my friends Michael and Phyllida Flint, with whom I have been staying, live in the shadow of the castle. And it is just a short walk to the centre of this little place where the famous church, where Noyes Fludde was first performed, can be found nestling between old houses and shops. It is a lovely place, and one which, unlike Aldeburgh itself, does not get too crowded.
The Lighthouse is just a few paces from the Aldeburgh Cinema where Humphrey Burton was introducing a terrific Britten BBC documentary - Britten on Camera. That was a huge pleasure - and reminded me of so many friends gone - young people who were in the Billy Budd recording of 1966. Delme Bryn Jones, Robert Tear, Michael Langdon - great people and great artists......and then some Owen Wingrave - dear John Shirley Quirk being the most recent loss. He was the Doctor and the Shepherd (off stage!) in the Pelleas at Glyndebourne my first year there in 1962......
And then to the evening show, an extraordinary recital by Pierre-Laurent Aimard. It was all Etudes. A dozen by Ligeti, interspersed with another dozen, three each, from Prokofiev, Chopin, Bartok, and Scriabin. A full house cheered his marathon astonishing performance. So intelligent, so serious, and so enjoyable!
And so the end of a fantastic weekend in this special place. I just arrived back in London. Tonight is something completely different - Call me George!