Although they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the high baroque churches of South Germany are places of beauty to me. A riot of ornament is contained and controlled by a formal geometry and plan. I have thought this way possibly for my work too - it’s a nice concept if one can pull it off! Never get outsmarted by a formal geometry ….. I’ve tried to go that way once or twice, and I’m really not good enough yet. In no time at all, the handcuffs are on and you’re a goner, artistically speaking. I daresay I’ll keep trying because when it works, it is powerful. Yesterday I witnessed a wonderful musical version of the same game.

In his glorious, playful, soaring concerto in Eb for French Horn and Orchestra, Richard Strauss toys with the formalism of the classical form, but never for a moment is his music entrapped by it. It’s a great piece of work. The young musicians from Trossingen Musikakademie played their hearts out, like a great great orchestra. It was wonderful.