A rarified atmosphere

My friend Lis Hawkins once described a visit to a record shop in London (was it the old HMV shop near Bond Street station?). 

She would enter among the cacophany of pop music and climb the stairs higher and higher through various dissonances until she reached the top floor and the rarified atmosphere of the classical section.   There she would be completely happy.  Lis was principal oboe for the Hallé in the 1940s and was very particular about her music.  Sadly, she died aged 93 in 2011 and I shall never now know if it was the HMV store – though I knew at the time we discussed it 30 years ago, and I had been there too.

It was lovely to climb the stairs to the classical section in pursuit of a gramaphone record and enjoy the quiet classical background as I thumbed through the selection (I was often seduced by the covers, such as the Decca Eclipse ones with their photos of the Lake District and other scenes).

In the HMV in New Oxford Street today you can still shut yourself into the classical section to an unadulterated accompaniment.   I shall miss it if it goes.  The internet steals the joy from choosing and buying music.

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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One Response to A rarified atmosphere

  1. I remember Lis very well. Another fiery campaigner!

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