Introduced to the joys of classical music

Janusz Piotrowicz at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo credit: Peter Horton
Janusz Piotrowicz at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo credit: Peter Horton
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When I was a pupil at CRGS there was a maths teacher whose initials were R.I.K.

I have no doubt he was a very good maths teacher, but I have witnessed in other schools, even in other countries, maths is a subject most pupils do not easily relate to.

But this R.I.K. was offered one lesson a week in which he introduced to us, in the sixth form, classical music.

The Philistines expressed their resentment at this enforced deprivation of an hour’s academic study. For me, and others, it introduced to us a realm, not merely a cave of treasure more magical and glittering to surpass all the magic of Aladdin’s cave and is still enriching my life today.

And the very beginning was Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. At first each movement at a time and then the whole sequence together.

Each movement has its own uplifting beauty, but personably memorable for me was the 2nd, “By the Stream”.

In my later youth, I used to walk along a stream that is known as Swanside, though I have never seen any swans there. It flows under the A59, above Chatburn, near Sawley, and into the Ribble. If you walk upstream you come to an old Roman bridge. Throughout my life wherever I have been, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony has helped me carry the image of the stream’s ripples and swirling eddies of as the current gently, but relentlessly pursues its cascading descent to the distant sea.

Robin Parker,

St Chad’s Avenue, Chatburn