excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 29 (220 words)

excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 29 (220 words)

part of

Memories and Commentaries

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

29

type

text excerpt

encoded value

It was the most exciting night of my life, and completely unexpected because I had no hopes of attending the opera at all; eleven-year-olds were rarely seen at grand, late-night social events. The Ruslan semi-centennial had been declared a national holiday, and my father must have considered the occasion important for my education. Just before theatre time Bertha burst into my room saying ‘Hurry, hurry, we are going, too.’ I dressed quickly and climbed into the carriage by the side of my mother. I remember that the Mariyinsky was lavishly decorated that night, and pleasantly perfumed, and I could find my seat even now – indeed, the eye of my memory leaps to it like filings to a magnet. A ceremony and a parade had preceded the performance. Poor Glinka, who was only a kind of Russian Rossini, had been Beethovenized and nationally monumented. I watched the performance through my mother’s mother-of-pearl lorgnette binoculars. In the first interval we stepped from our loge into a small foyer behind. A few people were already walking there. Suddenly my mother said to me, ‘Igor, look, there is Tchaikovsky.’ I looked and saw a man with white hair, large shoulders, a corpulent back, and this image has remained in the retina of my memory all my life.

It was the most exciting night of my life, and completely unexpected because I had no hopes of attending the opera at all; eleven-year-olds were rarely seen at grand, late-night social events. The Ruslan semi-centennial had been declared a national holiday, and my father must have considered the occasion important for my education. Just before theatre time Bertha burst into my room saying ‘Hurry, hurry, we are going, too.’ I dressed quickly and climbed into the carriage by the side of my mother. I remember that the Mariyinsky was lavishly decorated that night, and pleasantly perfumed, and I could find my seat even now – indeed, the eye of my memory leaps to it like filings to a magnet. A ceremony and a parade had preceded the performance. Poor Glinka, who was only a kind of Russian Rossini, had been Beethovenized and nationally monumented. I watched the performance through my mother’s mother-of-pearl lorgnette binoculars. In the first interval we stepped from our loge into a small foyer behind. A few people were already walking there. Suddenly my mother said to me, ‘Igor, look, there is Tchaikovsky.’ I looked and saw a man with white hair, large shoulders, a corpulent back, and this image has remained in the retina of my memory all my life.

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excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 29 (220 words)

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