The actor discusses the power of Mozart, duetting with his wife and taking up the clarinet late in life.

M usic has touched me in so many areas of my life, going right the way back to being a teenager. My brother formed a jazz band at school and in the holidays he and his mates used to come to our house and play trad jazz. He was a great musician, my brother John. He played the clarinet, trombone, violin, the piano – everything. He was a natural musician. I was not. Anyway, I learned to play the drums. So my introduction to music, to use the classical term, would be as a percussionist.

It was only later on in my life, about the time of my 40th birthday, that I actually took up an instrument. I decided that I loved the sound of the clarinet. I was deeply moved one day on hearing Mozart’s clarinet concerto while I was on my way to the theatre – I think I was playing Iago in Othellofor the Royal Shakespeare Company. I remember hearing the slow movement and having to stop the car because my emotions overtook me. When...

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