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Baker's Dozen

Tour De France: Jonathan Meades Selects 13 Exercise Bike Classics
John Doran , March 6th, 2019 09:44

After a recent serious illness, writer and documentarian Jonathan Meades was prescribed 30 minutes a day on an exercise bike. He tells John Doran about his 13 favourite pieces of classical music to accompany his regimen


Brahms - Piano Quartet 2 in A Major op 26

Brahms is like Beethoven in that he’s a romantic composer. I don’t consider Beethoven to be a classical composer at all, well, not in the late quartets anyway. I don’t get on with the pre-Beethoven characters like Mozart and Hayden. You can see that Brahms takes from Beethoven. Sometimes his music is sentimental but I don’t mind sentimentality. It is a mood and like any mood, if it’s done well, it’s fine. Any idiom can be good. It’s like what Nabokov says about writing: “There’s only one school of writing and that’s the school of talent.” Brahms had great talent. Another good thing about Brahms was Benjamin Britten couldn’t stand him and I find Britten really effete.