In the three evenings of Thursday May 26 to Saturday May 28 I was at three concerts, which made me feel intellectually and emotionally stimulated, but also hugely pressed for time.
If you were wondering about the post title – I saw a vague similarity between my concert-hopping and a poem excerpt, which I read a long time ago in a book by one of my all-time favorite authors – P.G. Wodehouse. It goes like this:
“From sport to sport they hurry me, to stifle my regret, and when they win a smile from me, They think that I forget.”
It was a quotation from a song I believe, of the kind that Bertie Wooster sings to the silent disapproval of his valet Jeeves. 🙂 I went to these concerts voluntarily, no one has hurried me there, but the “from sport to sport” part does strike a chord. 🙂
One of the lobbies of the Bulgaria Concert Hall contains a permanent exhibition of cartoons and personal belongings of Alexis Weissenberg, donated by him a short time before his death. I am very proud of this Bulgarian pianist, who achieved international fame but never stopped saying he was Bulgarian in spirit and mentality. Weissenberg’s family fled Bulgaria during World War II and never returned. The pianist is often labelled the epitome of technical perfection, but is also criticised for being unemotional and even aggressive in his playing.
For a variety of reasons, I happened to attend the Al di Meola concert alone, which I really enjoyed. There were other art exhibitions in the concert hall lobbies, apart from the Barcelona one, and I liked looking at the pictures all by myself. I had also a book – Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, which I read while seated and waiting for the lights to come out.
What a book…I finished it and felt as if someone had kicked me in the stomach. I hope to be able to gather my thoughts sufficiently to write a post on it. But do read it, dear Reader, it is slightly above 100 pages but so powerful. If the story somehow relates to you, you will find it most disturbing and revealing, I promise.
I also enjoyed looking at the beautifully lit buildings and liked hearing the sound of my steps in the quiet streets as I walked to where my car was parked.
I like how surreal the picture above turned out. Just look at these tiny pretty girls in their fairy-tale gowns! They played parrots and came on stage right after the monkeys. 🙂
The picture was taken at the end of the dress rehearsal, at the opera house’s back entrance. The girls are waiting for their parents to pick them up. The shop window behind them reflects the buildings on the other side of the street and a passing tram. Also look at the beaten-up pavement, the cigarette stub and the empty coffee cup.
To me, it looks like a picture from a fashion magazine, where models are photographed on the backdrop of dilapidated buildings. Or something more philosophical like the juxtaposition of youth, innocence and dreams on one side, and the prowling and elusive city on the other.
Anyway, I took my child by the hand and walked her to the car in these clothes. Many passers-by smiled at the colourful butterfly that she was. She was very happy. I drove a total three times to that opera house on Saturday. 🙂
Now, a video of the parrots’ dance, from the rehearsal. Honestly, I think the children’s steps were too simple, my daughter knows way more. The girls going away were the monkeys and those appearing from the backstage in the pale pink dresses played macaroons. 🙂