Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Wesley Stace: Charles Jessold Considered As A Murderer
I can't recall where I'd read a recommendation for Wesley Stace's Charles Jessold Considered As A Murderer but it was from some reputable blog, with the line that it was ideally suited to music lovers. Well I'm one of those I thought, but alas, not quite. Stace's protagonist is Charles Jessold, a young up and coming English composer interested in English music, especially traditional folk forms, and furthering English music on the world stage. Stace creates an eloquent and convincing voice in critic Shepherd (his name a rather obvious pun) but the narrative is too straightforward and nationalistic (albeit satirically - reminded of too many unpleasant Harold Moores customers and Radio 3 programs), the links with Gesualdo too obvious, and the terrain too familiar and conventionally explored. It remains unfinished.