The Siegfried Idyll is a work I have always enjoyed for its cocoon of beautiful sounds, expressing love for wife and newborn baby (admittedly while Wagner nods vigorously in the direction of his vast Ring Cycle). It is cast in E major for the majority of the time, especially when the strings are taking the front line.

FMR’s Karen Miller introduced this work in the 13 instrument version last night. I knew that I would not hear it in E major, so I was ready for disappointment as the first octave leap on the strings announced that it would be in F major, a semitone up. But while the warmth of the ‘sharp key that masquerades as a flat key’ was not there, the beauty of the music overcame this deficit, such that I had very pleasant time with the themes, leitmotivs and gentleness that makes this the wonderful work that it is. The A flat major middle section was in A major – a little confusing to hear all those sharps when I was reconciled to not hearing them in the extended E major sections.

So, not ideal, Siegfried – but still enough Idyll to satisfy this listener.