Page 453. " the sinister little jumps that start Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances "

The Symphonic Dances Op, 45 is Sergei Rachmaninov's final composition. It consists of a series of orchestral pieces in three movements, and was completed in 1940.

Listen here to Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances on Spotify.




Page 454. " 'It's a bit like having a bop in St Basil's Cathedral.' "

 St. Basil's Cathedral is the anglicized name for the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Vasily the Blessed (also known as Pokrovsky Cathedral) which was built in the 16th century, and is situated on Moscow's Red Square in Russia.

In 1915, Rachmaninoff wrote a piece of music called All-Night Vigil Op. 37, which consists of settings for the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil service. Two pieces from the All-Night Vigil are repeated in the finale of his Symphonic Dances.

Listen here to part of Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil on Spotify.


St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
Creative Commons AttributionSt Basil's Cathedral, Moscow - Credit: ERik Charlton

Google Map










Page 454. " and now, mere chemistry, she was Makarova "
Natalia Makarova at the White House with other Kennedy Centre Honourees
Public DomainNatalia Makarova at the White House with other Kennedy Centre Honourees - Credit: Pete Souza (White House)

 Natalia Makarova  is a prima ballerina who was born in Russia in 1940. In 1970, whilst on tour with the Kirov Ballet in London, she defected to the West and subsequently became a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, and the Royal Ballet in London. She was also able to return to Russia on two occasions in the late 1980s to dance again with the Kirov.

Apart from her career as a dancer, she has also worked as an actress in both musical comedy and more serious roles, and as a choreographer and stager of ballets. Her memoir, A Dance Autobiography, was published in 1979, and in 2012, she was the recipient of a Kennedy Centre Honour for her lifetime contribution to the performing arts.







Page 457. " past Downing Street, and the Banqueting House "
10 Downing Street, London
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike10 Downing Street, London - Credit: Tequask

 Downing Street is located in the Whitehall area of Central London. The official residence of the British Prime Minister is at no. 10 Downing Street, and the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is next door at no. 11.

The Banqueting House is situated on Whitehall in Central London. It was built in the early 17th century in the Neo-classical style to a design by Inigo Jones, and represents what is known as Palladian architecture.

Today, it is preserved as a Grade 1 listed building, and is open to the public.

The Google map below shows the location of the Banqueting House.







Banqueting House, Whitehall, London
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBanqueting House, Whitehall, London - Credit: Steve Cadman

Google Map


Page 458. " as phoney as the prints on the wall and the Chippendale cocktail cabinet "
Statue of Thomas Chippendale in Otley, West Yorkshire
Creative Commons AttributionStatue of Thomas Chippendale in Otley, West Yorkshire - Credit: Tim Green
American Chippendale-style tallboy (1760-1780)
Creative Commons AttributionAmerican Chippendale-style tallboy (1760-1780) - Credit: Forever Wiser

 Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) was a renowned London cabinet-maker and furniture designer. He produced work in both the English Rococo, and Neo-classical styles. One distinctive feature of his work is the curved cabriole leg, ending in a distinctive foot such as a lion's paw.

Chippendale was the author of a guide to furniture making entitled The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Directory (1705) which was purchased and used by furniture makers throughout the world.

Reproductions of Chippendale designs, and furniture built in the Chippendale style remain popular today.


Commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (c.1778)
Public DomainCommode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (c.1778) - Credit: Daderot















Page 465. " the legs of the Sheraton table "

Pair Sheraton Demi Lune Console Tables (2)

Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806) stands alongside Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhaite as one of the great English furniture designers of the 18th century.

He was the author of The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book which was published in four volumes between 1791-94.

Sheraton designs are essentially Neo-classical in style, are characterised by grace and elegance, and generally have slender legs which may be straight or tapered. They also make significant use of inlay decoration, reeding (vertical ridges) and classical motifs.

The picture above shows a console table in the Sheraton style.


A Thomas Sheraton sideboard design
Public DomainA Thomas Sheraton sideboard design - Credit: T.Sheraton; F. Litchfield