For many of us reality TV and talent shows fill out our viewing diet. I’m not averse to some pop-diva-wannabes vying for record-deal supremacy, but when it comes to kicking back on some Spring Friday evenings, once every two years, BBC Young Musician can’t be beaten in my book. Grade Eight musical excellence is a mere starting point for entries, virtuosic performances abound and the question is who has that extra something that will make paying audiences flock to a concert hall in the future.

This is a simple poem I wrote on Saturday May 8th following the String final and Semi-Final:

Tied Beauty

Elegie on a city cello
sonorous toddler box not
eighteenth-century heirloom
shakes you and stills
your soul with singing
and tears arising
without requesting
Rachmaninov requisitioning
Reconditioning. Heart
sequestering beauty

One rendering of Psalm 23:6 says that God’s beauty and love chases after us every day of our lives and the Bible also says of the Psalm writer that his music on the lyre (harp) used to soothe the souls of those who listened to him. Apparently limbic centres of the brain can be activated by listening to music and music therapy is enlisted these days for many different reasons. Not everyone sees God behind the beauty we see and hear, and that is a debate for another day, but I’m with Hopkins the poet who, in Pied Beauty, gave glory to God for ‘dappled things’ and praised what he saw as God’s beautiful handiwork in creation.

Passion, skill, music, beauty, love – what moves your heart today?