Saturday, March 26, 2016



Two weeks ago I discovered much to my chagrin that Ut Pictura Musica on the Sablon was closing - no reason given by the always less than chaleureuse assistant, that's just the way it is. Tant pis. It was a terrific shop to browse around on a sunny weekend morning - that's where I found the Cafe Zimmerman Brandenburgs & Til Fellner's Well-Tempered Clavier.

Imagine my joy then this morning taking a predictable wrong turn in Antwerp & stumbling upon Mark Sound. A brief glance in the window was sufficient to convince me that this is a little satellite of Paradise. Inside, the judiciously minimalist wood & metalwork perfectly suits the stock: Jazz & Classical & nothing else. Filling the space is - I discover on asking - Hans Abrahamsen's let me tell you (lower case intended) which I will surely investigate further when funds allow. For today I held back & purchased only the Kurtag duo on an ECM DVD & the first of Peter Maxwell Davies's Naxos String Quartets. However, the temptation to go beserk was strong - a fabulous (even exhaustive) range of music I would gladly fill my ears & days with.

I told the bloke at the till this shop would be perfect if only he'd a floor for interesting poetry on top. He agreed & then apologised for not having a World Music section. In true Billy Jenkins fashion I quipped back that all music was World Music at which he grinned broadly. Twins! as Emma would say. What a nice chap.

Turning over in my mind as we drove home how on earth he could keep the place going - the Sablon casualty fresh in mind - I have now discovered that this is one of three such outlets in Belgium. What a civilised country this is.

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