Sunday, August 06, 2017

Scott Walker: On Your Own Again

I have spent the past week in Shropshire with the songs of Scott Walker going through my head.

Before I left I watched the BBC Prom devoted to those songs and I thought it was wonderful.

I had heard it on the radio, but the staging in the Royal Albert Hall added magic. Without it, on the radio, you missed Scott Walker's voice.

But then the fact that Walker devoted himself to these songs when, with that voice, he could have done anything he wanted in music was somehow a statement of their importance in itself.

On Your Own was at the Prom by Susanne Sundfør. You can see her performing it in a preview of the concert for Newsnight.

I have sometimes been a little sceptical of the new emphasis on accessibility at the Proms - or at least of the BBC's insistence on promoting those concerts above all others.

But the Scott Walker Prom reminded us that the important difference is not the one between classical and popular music but the one between good and bad music.

I find I have chosen four Scott Walker songs for my Sunday music video before:

So it's no surprise that I enjoyed this concert.

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