Adam Zagajewski’s notebook


I won’t tell you everything. Since nothing’s really happening. I represent, moreover, the Eastern European school of discretion: we don’t discuss divorces, we don’t admit depressions. Life proceeds peacefully on all fronts; beyond the window, a gray, exceptionally warm December. A few concerts. A marvelous young singer performed recently in the lawyers’ club. And last night there was a splendid concert of Dmitry Shostakovich’s music (they also played a string quartet dedicated to him by his biographer, Krzysztof Meyer: Au-delà d’une absence). They performed, among other things, Seven Romances on Poems of Aleksandr Blok, op. 127, a piece I hadn’t previously known. The performers were students from the Music Academy, passionate, with excellent technique. The final work, the suite I just mentioned, made a tremendous impression on M. and me. The concert commemorated the composer’s hundredth birthday, and thus had an extra something, an extra charge; the students lit candles on the stage and only a few spotlights remained. They seemed to have achieved an extraordinary degree of concentration. That’s often the case with very young performers who haven’t yet been ruined by routine and careers, young musicians playing joyously, with their whole bodies, their whole souls.

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