Takacs Quartet (Again, Sort Of)
Saw the second program of the Takacs Quartet with Musica Viva tonight. Pretty darn good. They played the Ravel string quartet as their last piece. The old woman next to me told me she thought it was “superb”, and I’d have to agree. (I could tell she was itching for a conversation for quite some time – or at least that she was ‘chatty’. She was there with her husband, though I don’t think they were talking to each other. It makes me wonder whether I’d want a marriage where the conversation would die after the years had gone by, or whether I’d still want it to be fresh… It depends on the intimacy of the silence, I suppose. Though of course one would automatically reach for ‘always fresh’, I think.) Anyway, it was the first time I’ve heard it live since I first heard it at the first concert I ever went to, last year, and somewhat fell in love with the ACO’s version. (And wow, wasn’t that an utterly terrible sentence – when the Muse decides not to help, it doesn’t stick around. ”First”, “first”, and “first”, and not in a rhetorically pleasant way.) Another woman, fifty or sixty, came up to me, sitting in my chair in the interval, and asked me to turn off her mobile phone. ”I was so scared it was going to ring in the first half, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.”
96/whatever – no, I’ll check, hang on – 836 in Parade’s End. Quite enjoying it too – much more than I thought I would. And I’ve written my name in the front of the book. In pencil. And I’ve been writing notes in it all day – well, only one note in the margin, next to a mention of St Antony – “fishes?” is what I wrote. The passage was a Father talking about ministering to a few select people instead of “doing a St Antony”, as it were. The only reason I even understood – at least I think I did – what he was talking about is because of Mahler and is Das Knaben Wunderhorn (or however you spell it), which I heard the Vienna Philharmonic play – there being a song about St Antony of Padua preaching to the fishes.
That, and I’ve been writing on average at least one word at the top of the page, for me to look up in a dictionary later on. I’m enjoying this, even though I think it’d be easier to underline them – but then they’d be hard to find later on. There’s something very satisfying about picking out words you don’t know, or words you think you know but aren’t entirely sure about, and would never use in your own writing because of your lack of confidence in their meaning. It’s like shopping for free, almost.
And what it’s helping me with as well – and I’ve always been very conscious of this – is that I have very little idea about what things are called. Furniture, clothing, flowers, and so on. I’ve been wanting to remedy this for quite some time.
And I find that I’m actually making a record of all the unknown words, and writing much more down this way than I would otherwise. So the system must be working, assuming that I bother to look up the words later.
Still haven’t won anything on my scratchies yet, and I’ve only got two games left before they run out.