Today, or is it yesterday, I heard a wonderful concert. José van Dam sung a beautiful cycle of Schumann lieder, which got me crying after about five minutes. There's something about Schumann, the poetry he chooses, the piano's soft and furious interpretation, the waves of emotion and pain, that gets me every time. Then we had some lovely French chansons. Normally I'm not too fond of French songs, because the lyrics sound so corny. The way people used to speak changed, yet the chansons keep the same distribution of syllables over the notes. It's slightly perturbing when you are trying to listen to the music. But here the poetry was by Baudelaire or Verlaine, so you're pretty much enjoying the best of French poetry.
He concluded with Poulenc's cycle of bawdy Renaissance songs. Watching van Dam, who will always be for me the most dashing Leporello, winks and makes suggestive gestures while the audience howl with laughter was a great moment indeed.
So I cried, I laughed, and I clapped my hands raw.
I was sitting next to X. We were enjoying it together, as friends. Music has always been something we both love intensely, though in entirely different ways. (He's never liked Baroque so much either). But it was part of the pleasure to be there with him, after all that we've been through together, building a new chapter in our lives, yet still able to smile at each other or mistily grin when we were moved. Here is a man who held my hand when my father was terribly sick for months on end. Here is a man who taught me how to enjoy so many things in life, a good meal with friends, a glass of perfectly dry white wine. And this is the man who once loved me and now cares for me, and wants only the best for me, and who knows that I wish him everything he could possibly want.
So as I cried during the Schumann, I still felt like a very lucky person indeed.
LA ROBE LONGUE BRODÉE
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