Walmer Castle The Lydian String

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 23rd July 2010


I don't often write my blog immediately after a great event but I've got a busy weekend and really do want to write this up whilst it's fresh in my mind.

I'm ashamed to say that for seven years I've lived within easy walking distance of Walmer Castle and have never visited it.  My excuse is that I don't like visiting places tout seul. 

Friends invited me to a picnic on the beach and then to attend A Concert at the Castle - they had no information about the Concert but the tickets were a ridiculously low £5 so what did it matter. 

The Lydian String Quartet were absolutely fabulous.  I'm rather a plebian when it comes to Classical Music - am not deeply entrenched in it but certainly have very catholic taste.  However I do love hearing relatively popular music played by a string quartet - and tonight was exceptional. 

Firstly, the grounds of Walmer Castle are absolutely delightful and I shall certainly be visiting again.  It is owned by English Heritage and I cannot begin to comprehend why they don't advertise their functions more fully.  I can think of half a dozen friends who would have been delighted to attend the concert tonight.

There was no programme, but the mix was, to my taste, absolutely superb.  Let me give you an idea - there was some Vivaldi, Puccini, Handel and at the other end of the scale the theme music from 'Dr. Zhivago', two numbers from 'Fiddler on the Roof', Hoagey Carmichael's 'Stardust' - Edith Piaf's 'La Vie on Rose'; Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson; some Nat King Cole;  Pachelbel's Canon and on and on it went - I was totally enraptured.

Stuart (who designed my website) doesn't like me putting in links to other websites because it takes them away from me - but sorry Stu these guys and girls are so good - and they have raised around £90,000 for Macmillan nurses, so I'm more than happy to give them a plug.  I suppose you would call them a Co-operative of musicians who can be called upon to perform at all sorts of different venues and in differing groups.  Tonight we had a quartet - tomorrow you might just require one musician.  It is always a source of mystery to me (not playing an instrument and unable to read music) how these disparate people come together and meld into a cohesive whole to play the most wonderful music.  Tonight they were deciding as they went along what they would play and at a nod from the lead violin, they were all there playing in unison.

I thought they were wonderful - and apart from the midges who plagued me constantly -the whole setting and ambience were superb.

I really think English Heritage are missing a trick in not better publicising concerts like this one.

If you want to know more about The Lydian String - go to their website - thelydianstring.com

Must go to bed - off early in the morning to watch the Re-enactment lads at Capel and then opening the Tilmanstone Village Fete!!!

Arrivederci,  Jan

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