Boris Johnson’s piano technique is being widely studied

Boris Johnson’s piano technique is being widely studied


norman lebrecht

April 05, 2020

Some feel the right hand is a bit heavy.


  • Rob says:

    After pedalling all that and getting the virus himself, somebody should put a dampener on him.

  • V.Lind says:

    Time hanging heavy in lockdown?

  • erich says:

    What does the Chinese curse say? ‘May you live in interesting times’. Now that usurping charlatan is realising that he is completely incapable of running the country.

    • V.Lind says:

      Oh, I don’t think he has realised it. Self-awareness never strong suit in BoJoland.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      May the people or electoral colleges that have elected charlatans understand the devastation they have caused.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Including, but not limited to, those with incipient dementia, philanderers (while in office) and so forth. Even a President who uses the mafia for the purposes of pimping.

    • M McAlpine says:

      Interesting the ‘usurping charlatan’ was elected by a democratic vote in a democracy. Perhaps you need to go and live in North Korea or Russia to get a taste of what you phrase really means. Or perhaps grow up a little out of your student politics!

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It was Putin!! It was all his fault BoJo was elected. Or the weather. Or China. Or Estonia. Or anything BUT democracy.

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        Maybe the voters are to blame, those unreliable, ungrateful, selfish deplorables. Let’s hope next time they will get out of their caves and see the light. 🙂

        • M McAlpine says:

          Yeah these deplorable working class types who have the good sense to see through the middle class, privately educated, pseudo-lefties who claim to represent them!

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Johnson may be a charlatan and a scoundrel, but the rest of the British cabinet, with the exception of Gove (even if you don’t like him, he is competent) really are frighteningly ignorant, stupid and nasty. Raab is the guy who didn’t realise imports/exports went through ports saying “isn’t it complicated”. They also have a visceral contempt of “experts” telling them anything.

  • Michael Turner says:

    Aside of any political point I might make (in which case this comment would be very long and probably vitriolic), this is one of the most amusing videos of this type that I’ve seen for a long time.

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    Please do not lower the tone of this site by posting anything about this person.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      The price of electoral bitterness only equals in measure the INABILITY to understand why you don’t hold office. Keep it up!! Please.

  • We privatize your value says:

    Composed by Morton Feldman.

  • Peter says:

    I’ve heard he as broken cover from social isolation and is now hiding in a Rowfl suit.

  • Alank says:

    Considering that the alternative was a viscous terrorist admiring anti-Semite, I think Britain voted quite wisely

    • Alan says:

      You get the politicians you deserve.

    • Larry D says:

      Viscous? As in oily?

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Bravo. A dangerous little acolyte of the soviet state, old Jeremy still doesn’t get it. Mung-bean-chewing, sandal-wearing communism doesn’t look good in the 21st century, especially when it bolsters anti-semitism. But it does provide proof that the supporters of all that are still amongst us, waiting to issue orders for those who don’t fall into line with group-think and who are going to up the ante on already dogma-ridden education.

      What’s so sad and frightening is that there are people who needs such ‘infrastructure’ to feel good about themselves.

      • Andrew says:

        Do you think mung chewing and sandal wearing are insults? Perhaps if more did so the country and indeed world would be better off.

        In any case, the fact that he’s a proven liar, and people who voted for him openly said they were happy that he was but still voted for him, proves just how stupid a lot of the electorate are. Like, but not limited to, the man on question time who thought £80,000 was lower than the average salary,.

      • Roger says:

        Thank God the commies and socialists are still around to bail out–once again–hapless, greedy Crony Capitalists.

    • Allen says:

      Yes, but this is a site where hypocritical, middle class virtue signalling is everything.

      Corbyn couldn’t even run his own party, but he’s of the Left, so that’s OK.

      • V.Lind says:

        Not so sure you are right to condemn all the contributors to the site. There has been considerable fight-back regarding women players and conductors as a matter of importance (it’s a loser, though, as I see today yet another new post about the appointment of a “woman” principal guest instead of just a “new” principal guest).

        And about colour-blind or racially-determined casting and hiring. Not everyone buys all this whole. Of course it is fine when women and minorities are employed, and opportunities must be there for them, but there seem to be a pretty healthy resistance to the virtue-signalling importance of such factors overriding musical talent, suitability, etc. There was very little support for that Angry Black Man conductor who occasionally supplies a rant about how everything that has ever happened to him is because all whites are racists.

        Not everyone here works from ideology. I am probably more of the left than he right, but I do not have the time of day for Jeremy Corbyn, who I think has set the cause of Labour back years. And I think that cause is important not because of ideology but because I believe in a healthy opposition. Starmer may impress the country rather more, but he will have trouble with the misguided throwbacks in his party.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The British electorate were not really presented with any kind of reasonable choice in that election. The choice was between:

      (a) a scoundrel and charlatan determined to achieve a hard Brexit when it became clear that Britain could not have the Brexit originally promised. It will have no cake and won’t eat it.

      (b) An aging hippy too thick to pass his A-levels (e.g. school exams) presiding over a viscous cade of anti-semite Marxists.

      (c) A middle party whining about trans-gender rights and planning to ignore the electorate.

  • Edgar Self says:

    In Britain, when a man is good for nothing else we make him prime minister.” — W. S. Churchill, who must have known.

    There’s worse. Boris Johnson is the grandson of Thomas Mann’s superb English translator, Helen T. Lowe-Porter. Sometimes I’m unsure if it’s Mann himself or Mrs. Lowe-Porer’s marvelous translations that I love so much in his books.

    For convenience and the pleasure of writing their names, they include “Tonio Kroeger”, “Buddenbrooks”, Magic Mountain”, Joseph and his Brothers”, “Doktor Faustus”, “The Transposed Heads”, Lotte inWeimar”, “Death in Venice”, “Felix Krull, Confidence Man”,”Reflections of a Non-Political Man”, “Essays of Three Decades:, “Friederich the Great and the Grand Coalition”, “Stories of Three Decades”, “A Man and his Dog”, “Mario and the Magician”, “The Black Swan”,and “The Holy Sinner”, &tc. Admittedly some were Englished by others but all published by Alfred Knopf except “Reflections” and the early “Royal Highness”.

    • Luca says:

      Lowe-Porter’s translations of Mann are anything but “marvellous”. She didn’t have a very good knowledge of German. One of my favourite errors of hers in “The Magic Mountain” is “There were two discs on the plate.” Plate is the translation of Schalplaten and the discs are two pieces of music.

      • Edgar Self says:

        Luca, Helen Lowe-Porter’s German was better than Mann’s English, so he and Knopf were usually satisfied except for the occasional quibble. there’s some published correspondence on some of these.

        Mann’s description of the early gramophone that Hans Cstorp takes over at the Sanitarium Berghof is so exact you could build one from it.

        In our house we have after-table in the under-cups, gape at New York’s cloud-scratchers, chase off wash-bears, and enjoy the North German dish of crumbled Graham crackers in milk. I find her translations marvelous, even poetic, and adequate to my dmy requirements ever since I long ago had the good luck to read ‘”Tonio Kroeger” land “Zauberberg” in hospital myself.

        Lowe-Porter’s translations,though imperfect, are compared to Constance Garnett’s of Tolstoy. The alternatives I’ve seen are woefully inferior, written with an eye on her pages, changing a word now and then. But I’m glad yout know of them. To each his own. Servus!

  • Martine says:

    What a horrible bunch of people you are. I know that cynical and jaded are the fashionable personality types at the moment, but I really cant find any respect for those who prefer fashion to logical thought. May your acidic remarks give you painful lifelong heartburn.

  • DGHH says:

    He is yet another PM without any interest in classical music. These days the desire is to appear ‘woke’ so politicians trot out their pop favourites. Angela Merkel goes to Bayreuth because she wants to.

    • Freelance Muso says:

      I understand that a scholarship scheme for young classical musicians was set up in London whilst he was Mayor of London

    • Saxon Broken says:

      You are wrong about Johnson. He is profoundly cultured and actually likes classical music. He also presents himself to the public as reasonably cultured.

  • I dunno… I think he stole some of those licks from that cat that was playing piano a few years ago.

  • fflambeau says:

    Out damned spot.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    That is clever and funny!

  • Adrienne says:

    He has been admitted to hospital.

    The nastiness of this place surfacing once again.

    • CJ says:

      You are right, but I suppose the nasty comments were written before him being sent to hospital.
      Now, whether we like him or not, we can only stop joking and wish him and every sick person a prompt recovery.

      • V.Lind says:

        Absolutely. Aside from anything else, he has a pregnant young woman whose life would be easier if her were with her. I wish them both well, and him a speedy recovery.

  • Stephen says:

    Oh dear, Norman – what have you started?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Most curious is that Mr Johnson did not play with the elbows. Politicians use to be good at that.

    Anyway, jokes apart (and Mr Johnson is very good at it, too) I wish Mr Johnson a fast recovery.

  • DeepSouthSenior says:

    As happens so often at SD, the comments are more interesting than the story. This time, though, thoughts from both the left and the right swing between uninhibited and unhinged. Maybe it’s our isolation that keeps us from holding our tongues (and keyboards) in check. Now, more than ever, we need the finale of the Mahler 9th.

    • Bruce says:

      “Maybe it’s our isolation that keeps us from holding our tongues (and keyboards) in check.”

      Nah, we were already like this.

  • Roger says:

    If your leader is misguided, it doesn’t matter if he has a command of the language. Granted, I’d rather my country wrecker could talk.

  • Edgar Self says:

    His fiancee is now reported to have symptoms also.

  • Edgar Self says:

    He’s now in ICU receiving oxygen, reportedly conscious after his symptoms worsened, with a ventilator nearby but not yet resorted to.

    May he recover, although his grandmother’s work may prove more lasting. Ars longa, vida brevis.