Friday, 5 September 2008

Back to the UK

Back in the sky – time to write. Last two weeks been quite busy, but spending them in Spain I felt “this is vacations now!!!”

La Coruna and Galicia were very hospitable as usual (even if in front of hotel where I stayed, were a lot of roadworks, and, surprisingly, at the week-ends!), seafood is amazing, wine is wine, sun is sun and Atlantic… it’s absolutely fabulous there, especially at sunset! I’ve been amongst the very few persons who did swim in the sea – water temperature of 18 degrees is not for Spaniards, I think))) And when quite strong waves produced a red flag on the beach, lifeguards tried to “rescue” me from the water, but after my few words in Russian just wave their hands!

Soloists in this production of Macbeth have been just great! Maria Guleghina and Jelko Lucic as the main heroes were brilliant, and it’s been a pleasure to work with them. Orchestra of Castilla y Leon also made a decent job, and at the end got a big ovation with my bow. Even though there were some musical challenges for the local amateur choir (I would call them “coro amistoso”);), critics hailed this production enormously with “fantastico y fenomenal” reviews. For me important side of these performances is that Verdi’s style was clearly there, and that’s not often happening!

Straight after that and a day of rehearsals in Valladolid (hometown of Orchestra Castilla y Leon), there was a concert yesterday with Paul Lewis in Barcelona. Chief editor of cultural part of “Lavanguardia”, leading catalan newspaper, after a few glasses of prosecco, promised me a great article on Saturday. Will see)).
Always amazed how different is Spain! Very smooth and humid climate in La Coruna (looks a little bit like if you moved Liverpool a few thousands kilometres south – rain almost everyday, high tides, very humid, but warmer, +21-26 in a daytime), very dry and sunny in Valladolid with a huge difference of temperatures for day and night, and warm and “oily” air of Barcelona… And a concert in the beautiful hall of Zaragoza will take place on Monday.

Nevertheless, it’s back to UK now, and this Spanish “feel of vacation, even if you work everyday” is almost disappearing. It’s still a little bit of a mystery for me, why Brits are using and spending so much energy in their lives? It seems to me, that a lot of questions and processes, which can be automatically resolved, steal a lot of time and attention in British society. What do you think?


johanna said...

I spent my honeymoon in Galicia, having lived in Spain for 15 years, and, like you, I had the sea to myself. Glad to hear you got a good reception - the Spanish know how to appreciate culture, and are very proud of their popular culture. Perhaps something we ought to be more proud of here. Don't you miss your own culture, being so far away from home? I enjoye dliving in Spain but loved coming home to Liverpol.

jill said...

Welcome back. In Britain, everyone has an opinion and we love to argue (or blame). We are an island nation and used to rule the world (or a good part of it). Some Brits think we still should and some find it hard to accept that we are part of Europe. Not me, though, I wish I was younger and could take advantage of all the available travelling.

Hope your family were having fun in Wirral while you were enjoying the sun and wine! Is your wife, Eugenia, now a full time "mum" for a few years while Sasha grows up a bit, or does she have the chance to work at all? Presume your little boy speaks English as he is now at school. He has done very well - especially presuming you all speak Russian at home. Hope you get a chance to see La Princess (the spider) this weekend. See you on Friday (I'll be there cheering).

Rachel said...

Hola - glad you had a lovely time in Spain. I'm looking forward to visiting the Phil this Friday and to another great season of RLPO concerts.

Vasily said...

2 joanna:
I miss a culture of Soviet Union (not a political regime or economic situation!), but not "culture" of so known New Russia. I miss my friends and city - St.Petersburg as Liverpool is a very special place. But I like travel and like to discover a new places and rediscover places where I've been!

Vasily said...

to jill:
not sure, that's only argue or blame. In my point of view people in UK are very toleranted to foreigners and quite rare explaining them "how to live" (as it might be from position We rule the World). I've found society here a little bit stocked between natural Beeing together and historical Keep distance. That's create a lot of traditions, ceremonies, officials etc. And that's where a lot of energy waste - going to simple things is: how many times per day you ask and beeing asked "How are you?" without any interest in answer, for instance?

Vasily said...

2 rachel:
you very welcome!

Judith said...

You wanted to know what going to the Phil looked like from the other side...growing up in Berlin, our parents took us to the Berlin Phil for an annual treat. With its special seating there was so much to watch and discover in addition to the sound! So I now take our own youngsters for their experience of live classical music and we exchange our impressions of the performancs all the way home,usually with great excitement.
Thanks to your generous young persons rate, we can afford to take all 6 of them.

As I listened to the choral performance of Joh.Seb.Bach's
"Jesu, Meine Freude" I couldn't help noticing the very Russian sound you managed to get out of the choir (much more emotional and softer), as well as the tragic ending in the minor key, away from the meaning of the words and the Bach tradition of ending in the major, signifying hope. Did you choose this programme piece? Do you like J.S.Bach? Do you notice "foreign" interpretations of the great Russian composers as uncomfortable and wish you could explain some misunderstanding sometimes?

It's fantastic both watching you and listening to the orchestra. They excel themselves each time.

joolie said...

Hi Vasily

Great to hear you enjoyed your working holiday. You are perhaps part of a minority who manage to combine a passion with a working life - and it shows!!! As a newly converted person I really enjoyed Carmina Burana.

I think here in Britain most of the time we perhaps tend to look less at how best we can find happiness by combining a passion with work but more about work as a utility. This could be the cause of seemingly 'buzzing' around with unecessary questions and processes.

I'm really interested in your question - can you give me a specific example of what you mean by using so much energy?

jill said...

I think you are saying we are friendly (individuals) and officious (systems) at the same time. If we discuss the British mentality and psyche, we will be having this same conversation at the end of the year! There are people in UK known as "jobsworth" that is someone who mindlessly enforces the tiniest, petty rules and likes being awkward just to appear superior. At the same time, we usually take life in our stride. In the past we were always a very welcoming country and our mixed culture is evidence of that. Today, I think less so. I like to think it is because of overcrowding and no other reason, but.....? I would hate it if we became as insular as the United States, but perhaps we are not good team players. Our attitude towards Europe would suggest that.

I read your answer to Walter and that is a worry. What can we do, the members and patrons of RLPO? I would certainly be very interested in joining any campaign to remove the "elite" tag from music and get the average scouser to recognise what a jewel we have here. Because Liverpool has such a strong and famous pop culture, a lot of people here probably still see the Phil as elitist, despite all the enthusiasm and improvements you bring. Then there are regulars at the Phil who don't want to be associated with the rest of Liverpool. Sad, but true!
I think we need to be thinking of ideas now, rather than wait until your contract is almost over. Perhaps someone should be writing to all the members and patrons asking for ideas.

pela said...

Back in the sky...
Where all of the wanders
are trying to come true.
Back in the sky...
Where the branches of Emptyness
are swinging trough you.
Back to the sky...
Where the self-full-ness
detaches from you and resolves
in major F-sharpenes.
Back in the sky...
I am-where you Are-
My dear Nothingness.

Sorry for grammama:)