As I've mentioned more than once, lately a smell, a word or a snatch of music seems to trigger memories from the past. I suppose it an age factor though I would prefer to think of it as the Proust factor - the old smell of madeleines dipped in tea:
She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…In Search of Lost Time, Volume 1: Swann's Way
I heard a snatch of this piece on the radio the other day - very briefly I was on my way out and it brought back a memory from a trip to France in the mid-1970s.
It was a very warm July evening in Aix-en-Provence and it was the last concert during our stay. I honestly can't remember the venue other than it was one of the many romantic courtyards in one of the many hotel de ville throughout that beautiful town. Josef Krips was conducting and Jean-Pierre Rampal was the flautist. As they launched into the Adantino movement from Mozart's Concerto for flute and harp there was a blackout. As we sat in the dark, under the clear, starry Provencal sky Rampal and the harpist (whose name I completely forget)continued on for several minutes. Those few minutes were magic - the darkness, the stars, the perfume from the courtyard vines, the summer heat radiating off the stone walls and Mozart!
What is that old saying: The Angels play Bach for God but Mozart for their own enjoyment. Lucky angels!
14 gennaio - San Felice di Nola