Friends of this occasional blog may recall that I am of somewhat idiosyncratic tastes, so learning that the origins of this post lie in a youth choir’s a-cappella rendition of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango heard on BBC Radio 4 may not surprise. I am a fan of Piazzolla and as much as I enjoyed this performance, it struck me in a way that perhaps is unusual for Radio 4 to strike its listeners, prompting a moment of recognition not likely considered by the programmer.
When I heard it, I was driving north on the M40 motorway, somewhere between Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon. Dusk was falling early and fast, as it does in an English winter. The fields on all sides were sheathed in frost, and a dense, silvery fog was sweeping in from the west, offering a ghostlike aura around the attendant sheep. I was returning from a brief and exhausting visit to London the purpose of which had been to meet my sister’s one year-old twins for the first time.