17 November, 10p.m., and I think it would be fair to say that all three of us in the Shackleton Trio, Lesley Schatzberger, Ingrid Pearson and me (Margaret Archibald) were relieved to have got through our Gala Music Matters evening without squeaks from our dangerously volatile period basset horns! We had revisited the recital programme previously offered to the basset horn convention in Kandern, Germany. Mozart Divertimenti were in pride of place, together with some lollipops from Don Giovanni and Figaro, some trios by Bohemian contemporary Druschetzky, and pieces from the trios of Mozart’s fellow freemason Anton Stadler, himself a player of the basset horn and the pioneer of the basset clarinet. A tiny gem of an Adagio by Abbé Vogler completed the music menu.
For the food menu, I spent all morning on the day of the Gala in my kitchen, frying Spanish Omelette, baking Red Onion, Fennel and Red Pepper Flan, packing chorizo, almonds, manchego, olives and bread, finding dishes, assembling bottles of wine and Cava, and delegating the fiddly Peach and Bresaola Ham Nibbles to my son Rob who managed with some aplomb to spear the ingredients with cocktail sticks.
Was the music or the tapas the more appreciated? Who can say! I’ll leave the last word to my colleague Ian Mitchell: “Much enjoyed last night. Bravo! All sounded lovely, and food was ace!”