Part ⅠWriting(30 minutes)
Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a short essay entitledA Harmonious Society in My Mind. You should write at least 150 words following theoutline given below.
A Harmonious Society in My Mind
Part ⅡReading Comprehension(Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quicklyand answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1. For questions 1 7, choose the best answerfrom the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). For questions 8 10, complete thesentences with the information given in the passage.
Entertainment in London
Londoners are great readers. They buy vast numbers of newspapers and magazinesand even of books especially paperbacks, which are still comparatively cheap in spiteof ever increasing rises in the costs of printing. They still continue to buy“proper” books, too, printed on good paper and bound between hard covers.
There are many streets in London containing shops which specialize in book selling.Perhaps the best known of these is Charing Cross Road in the very heart of London.
Here bookshops of all sorts and sizes are to be found, from the celebrated one whichboasts of being “the biggest bookshop in the world” to the tiny, dusty little places which seem to have been left over from Dickens time. Many of them specialize insecond hand books, in art books, in foreign books, in books of philosophy, politicsor any other of the various subjects about which books may be written. One shop inthis area specializes solely in books about ballet!
Although it may be the most convenient place for Londoners to buy books, Charing CrossRoad is not the cheapest. For the really cheap second hand volumes, the collectormust venture off the busy and crowded roads, to Farringdon Road in the East Centraldistrict of London. Here there is nothing so grand as bookshops. Instead, thebooksellers come along each morning and tip out their sacks of books on to barrows(推车) which line the gutters(贫民区). And the collectors, some professional and someamateur, who have been waiting for them, pounce towards the sellers. In places like this one can still, occasionally, pick up for a few pence an old volume that may beworth many pounds.
Both Charing Cross Road and Farringdon Road are well known places of the book buyer.Yet all over London there are bookshops, in places not so well known, where the booksare equally varied and exciting. It is in the sympathetic atmosphere of such shopsthat the loyal book buyer feels most at home. In these shops, even the life longbook browser is frequently rewarded by the accidental discovery of previously
unknown delights. One could, in fact, easily spend a lifetime exploring London s bookshops. There are many less pleasant ways of spending time!
Going to the Theatre
London is very rich in theatres: there are over forty in the West End alone — morethan enough to ensure that there will always be at least two or three shows running to suit every kind taste, whether serious or lighthearted.
Some of them are specialist theatres. The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where the great opera singers of the world can be heard, is the home of opera and the RoyalBallet. The London Coliseum now houses the English National Opera Company, which encourages English singers in particular and performs most operas in English at
Some theatres concentrate on the classics and serious drama, some on light comedy,some on musicals. Most theatres have a personality of their own, from the old, suchas the Theatre Royal (also called the “Haymarket”) in the Haymarket, to the moremodern such as the recently opened Baibican centre in the city. The National Theatrehas three separate theatres in its new building by Waterloo Bridge. At the new Barbicancentre the Royal Shakespeare Company has their London home — their other centre isat Stratford-on-Avon.
Most of the old London theatres are concentrated in a very small area, within astone s throw of the Piccadilly and Leicester Square tube stations. As the eveningperformances normally begin either at seven thirty or eight p.m., there is a kindof minor rush hour between seven fifteen and eight o clock in this district.
People stream out of the nearby tube stations, the pavements are crowded, and taxisand private cars maneuver into position as they drop theatre goers outside theentrance to each theatre. There is another minor rush hour when the performancefinishes. The theatre in London is very popular and it is not always easy to get into see a successful play.
Before World War Ⅱ, theatre performances began later and a visit to the theatrewas a more formal occasion. Nowadays very few people “dress” for the theatre (thatis, wear formal evening dress) except for first nights or an important performance.The times of performance were put forward during the war and have not been put back.
The existing times make the question of eating a rather tricky problem: one has tohave either early dinner or late supper. Many restaurants in “theatreland” easethe situation by catering specially for early or late dinners.
Television and the difficulty of financing plays have helped to close many theatres.
But it seems that the worst of the situation is now over and that the theatre, aftera period of decline, is about to pick up again. Although some quite large provincial
towns do not have a professional theatre, there are others, such as Nottingham, Hull,Coventry or Newcastle, which have excellent companies and where a series of playsare performed during one season by a resident group of actors. Some towns such asChichester or Edinburgh have theatres which give summer seasons. Even in small townsa number of theatres have been built in the last few years to cater for the localpopulation.
Music in Britain
It is debatable whether the tastes of kings reflect those of their subjects.
However, three English monarchs certainly shared their people s linking for music.Richard Ⅰ(1157 1199), the “Lionheart”, composed songs that he sang with hismusician, Blondel. It is said that when the king was a prisoner in Austria, Blondelfound him by singing a song known only to him and the king, who took up the tune inthe tower of the castle in which he was secretly imprisoned. Henry Ⅷ (1491 1547),notorious for his six wives, was a skilled musician and some of his songs are stillknown and sung. Queen Victoria (1819 1901) and her husband, Prince Albert, delightedin singing ballads. The great composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn (1809 1847)was a welcome guest at their court, where he would accompany the Queen and the Princewhen they sang.
The British love of music is often unfamiliar to foreigners, probably because thereare few renowned British composers. The most famous is Henry Purcell (1658 1695),whose opera “Dido and Aeneas” is a classic. The rousing marching song “Lillibulero”attributed to Purcell, now used by BBC as an identification signal preceding OverseasService news bulletins, was said to have “sung James Ⅱ out of three kingdoms” whenhe fled from Britain in 1688. Sir Edward Elgar (1857 1934) is known for his choraland orchestral works, some of which have been made more widely known by the famous
violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Benjamin Britten (1913 1976), a composer with a verypersonal style, has become world famous for such operatic works as “Peter Grimes”and “Billy Budd”. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 1958) was deeply influenced byEnglish folk music, as is shown by his variations on the old tune “Green sleeves”(which most people consider a folk song). In recent years there has been a greatrevival of folk music, and groups specializing in its performance have sprung up allover Britain. This phenomenon has its roots in the work of Cecil Sharp (1859 1924),who collected folk songs and dances.Present-day concern with music is shown by the existence of something like a hundredsummer schools in music, which cater for all grades of musicians, from the merebeginner to the skilled performer. These schools, where a friendly atmosphere reigns,provide courses lasting from a weekend to three or four weeks, and cover a wide range,from medieval and classical music to rock and roll and pop. There are alsoimportant musical festivals in towns such as Aldeburgh, Bath, and Cheltenham. Popmusic festivals draw thousands of people, especially young people. In the greatcities there are resident world famous orchestras and from all over the world great performers come to play or sing in Britain. In many towns there are brass bands, andthe players are often such people as miners or members of the local fire brigade,for music in Britain is not just an elegant interest, it is above all democratic.
1. Which of the following do the great readers in London probably buy the least?
2. Chafing Cross Road is very famous because.
A) all kinds of bookstores are along the streets
B) it lies right in the center of London
C) they have the cheapest books in London
D) the biggest bookstore in the world is there
3. What can you learn about Farringdon Road?
A) It s to the east of London.
B) It s a street of bookstores.
C) It s a center for second hand books.
D) It s where worthless books are sold.
4. What does the author mean by saying “some of them are specialist theatres”?
A) Those theatres only have operas show.
B) The theatres are especially good for their ballet show.
C) These theatres offer really affordable ticket.
D) They each hold a special type of play or show.
5. Because of the theatre performances, the area around Piccadilly and LeicesterSquare tube stations gets crowded.
A) before seven-thirty
B) between seven and eight
C) at about eight o’clock
D) from seven-fifteen to eight
6. What kind of change did World War Ⅱ bring to the theatres?
A) The putting forward of dinner.
B) The costume of the performance.
C) The time of the performance.
D) The restaurants nearly offer different food.
7. What, according to the author, caused the decline of theatre business?
A) There are not professional theatres in large provincial towns.
B) During World War Ⅱ, a lot of theatres were destroyed.
C) Some people begin to choose staying at home and watching TV.
D) The performance of the plays is becoming worse and worse.
8. According to the author, three music lovers of the royal family members are.
9. The British love of music is not known to foreigners for.
10. The courses offered by summer school in music where a friendly atmosphere reigns