Yesterday we went to a concert. It has been a very long time since I listened to live music. When I was young we used to go to concerts several times a week, symphony orchestras, chamber, vocal, piano. It was just as natural as reading books. There were certains musicians we always went to listen to, and certain composers, and periods, and instuments, and whenever there was a first performance of a new work we would go. When it was something impossible to get tickets for, my grandfather, who was Vice-Rector of Moscow Conservatoire, would give me a pass on condition that I wouldn't even come near the Rector's box. Instead, I would go up to the balcony and sit on the stairs, together with music students.
In Sweden, I missed live music but had no company to go with. I like to do things with someone, so that you can afterwards say: "Wasn't it gorgeous!" I went on my own for a while, but it was no fun, so I stopped. Somehow, I never managed to make a habit of taking the children to classic concerts, like my parents did with me.
But yesterday we went to Corn Exchange to listen to Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, playing three goodies: Weber's Oberon Ouverture, Beethoven's Triple Concert and Elgar's Enigma Variations. Balm for the soul. The building is fantastic. And I must admit, being a music snob, that Cambridge music-goers have my approval. I feel it in the air.
But Triple concert brough back memories. On December 30, 1970, I heard it in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, with three brilliant performers, Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich.