Letter from Alan Bennett

July 4, 1951 | Filed under: Yorkshire Post

Sir. – Ernest Bradbury’ remarks on the poor attendances at the Y.S.O. Concerts of British music, and particularly at the concert on June 30, are indeed timely. No one who was at the concert on Saturday can deny the merits of British music – or the excellent quality of its performance – and yet there was a mere handful of people in the hall.

These concerts are failing in their purpose if such British music is being heard by the few loyal supporters, who, judging by their applause, were already acquainted with it. The inertia extends from the high to the low – and it is only gradually that people can be shaken out of it.

Though it is against one’s inclination to coat the pill with sugar, it must be done. One is often tempted to let the general run of such music-lovers perish in the boredom which their closed horizon must inevitably cause. But let us make a final effort. Let us leaven the concerts with a few less “difficult” pieces of English music, strategically placed so as to prevent the undiscerning from leaving after the interval or not coming before it. – Yours, etc.,

ALAN BENNETT

92a, Otley Road, Leeds, 6.

(photo on front page courtesy of Allan Warren)