Passion a l'anglaise

Which nation springs to mind as being passionate? Most certainly, the Italians (at least about good food and wine), undoubtedly the French (passionate about, well, passion, the "amour fou"), the Spaniards, perhaps, with no lesser than Don Juan waving the flag for them, but - the English? Passionate? Most of us at the Festival Maribor agreed, that they don’t seem the obvious candidate. As one of our colleagues described: “The only really passionate moment I can remember from my times spent across the channel was a heated quarrel between my landlady and her cousins about what goes on a scone first: cream or jam? They got really passionate about it (all raised voices and flushed cheeks), and before the case was settled, I managed to eat half a ton of them without even being noticed. (I put jam first, in case you wondered.)”

But Nicolas Altstaedt and Barbara Švrljuga Hergovich, responsible for our festival’s  programme, are of the opposite conviction. (Not about scones, about the English!) They are quite sure the English are a passionate, hot-blooded nation, and they intend to prove it! Enter Haydn and Elgar and their masterpieces! Performed by the passionate and spirited Haydn Philharmonics following the lead of their charismatic artistic director, they are sure to sweep us from our feat, make our hearts flutter and prove, that "beneath every elegantly inscribed page, amiable melody and apparent light-heartedness simmers a lust for life, like liquid lava under the sleepy surface of the green English landscape."

So, let us forget those cultural clichés. And forget those gently baked scones. Passion is best consumed - raw!