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Brilliant Moments without the Tedious Half-Hours - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Brilliant Moments without the Tedious Half-Hours
We headed in to London this morning and went first to St Pancras, and the British Library's Magnificent Maps exhibition. No two ways about it, it does what it says on the tin - there are some splendid maps, including fragments of Roman city plans, mediaeval Mappae Mundi, elevated "bird's eye" city map views, and posters and propaganda maps. In the category of contemporary curiosities we must place Grayson Perry's Map of Nowhere and Stephen Walter's The Island (almost like something out of Will Self's The Book of Dave). Interestingly, although there are plently of London maps in the exhibition, Beck's Tube Map is omitted; someone scholarly may argue that it is a diagram rather than a map, but I think that's an unhelpful distinction.

We headed on to join the queue at the Royal Albert Hall in the early afternoon, and found it surprisingly short, for Sir Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment were due for the evening concert. However, we were only planning on attending the afternoon Prom - an organ recital by Wayne Marshall consisting of Wagner transcriptions by Edwin Lemare. Despite some initial kerfuffle over the fact that the fountain had not been turned off, the concert began in spectacular style with the overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and continued with the overture to Tannhäuser. A more introspective, occasionally somnolent but broadly Messianic improvisation on themes from Tristan und Isolde was followed by a triumphant rendition of The Ride of The Valkyries, which Marshall encored in an improvised form. Definitely worth a visit to Listen Again.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
strange_complex From: strange_complex Date: August 1st, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
fragments of Roman city plans

Does this mean the Forma Urbis Romae? I assume it must, as there isn't really anything else from the Roman period that could properly be called a city plan - but I can't seem to find out for sure from the exhibition website that you link to. I'd rather like to see some of it in real life, but in practice I don't have any other reason to go down to London now until October, when the exhibition will have finished. I'd have tagged it onto my visit for rosamicula's leaving do if I'd known, but I don't think it's quite worth a trip down purely for that.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: August 1st, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
According to the catalogue, you are exactly right about that. It is only one or two pieces at the entrance to the exhibition, though.
strange_complex From: strange_complex Date: August 1st, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, thanks. That definitely would have been worth nipping to see while I was there anyway, but indeed not really worth an entire journey to London for those alone. I'm glad they made the effort to include Roman material, though.
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