One evening after doing the Monteverdi Vespers, or should I say Vespas [No you should not—Ed.] in St Johns’ Smith Square I had to get somewhere else in a hurry, so I jumped into a taxi.
The driver goes, “So wot you bin up to then?”
Me: “Um, been playing this amazing piece by Monteverdi, it’s, um, like, old stuff—like early music, you know?”
“Oh right—you mean like Frank Ifield an’ that?”
Me: “Er, yeah, that’s the kinda thing…”
* * *
“But you know”, as Alan Bennett’s sermon goes, “he put me in mind of the kind of question I feel I should be asking you here tonight”: what is early music, and is it closing time yet?