In a tick, you are taken from ancient Troy to a contemporary concert hall, and the magical, electrifying instant when a great conductor poises before bringing down his baton to release an opening note.  Now you know what Troy felt like.

The drawing, I realise, looks more like Mahler in full swing, but it captures the energy of a great conductor’s stick coming down and launching something that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

 

‘Then in that handsome room, in Troy, it was

Just as it is for us when Solti’s stick comes down

And a wall of singers hits their opening note

And the hair on the back of your neck stands up.’

 

Source: Christopher Logue, War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. 126

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