The Easter holiday over, I had to go to Limburg on Tuesday to see my students. Also Ananda and Chendra left for Frankfurt, so we traveled together as far as Amsterdam Centraal and then went our separate ways. Embraced Chendra, also Ananda who was stiff as a board – worse than a Brit…………Never mind, I’ve actually gone off that whole embracing thing. And what a palaver the triple Dutch kiss is. With Frances the other day, our spectacles actually clinked together.
As usual there was some sort of accident on the railways, so journeys to Utrecht had to go via Hilversum. I thought “sod it” and jumped on the ICE International 221 train which zoomed off in the direction of Germany. I still made the connections I needed and actually arrived half an hour early for class. He-he. The sleek ICE train is such luxury. I used it just once before in 2005 when there was a family holiday in Cologne. This time the guard let me off the extra charge because of the accident. I like trains and I would love to go on one of those long train journeys that lasts for days and days……eating and sleeping whilst rolling along…………
In class we studied Berlioz and Wagner so I had to talk about program music. I said that the idee fixe in the Symphonie Fantastique could represent many things. You can certainly say it is Romantic in character, but that’s about all. It is not inherently “the beloved”. It’s just called that. Nobody disputed my point.
It occured to me afterwards that commentators go on about the “Marche au supplice” and the “Songe d’une nuit de sabbat” as if they really were that, whereas actually they could be called something else. On the other hand when you get a Mozart symphony, it is discussed as if it were a purely abstract structure, whereas it is quite specifically aristocratic in spirit and not abstract at all.
The Wagner by the way (bits of Tristan) blew me away. Next time someone starts droning on about how awful Wagner is I think I’ll have to do something. Not kick them down the stairs like Mondrian did with Kees van Dongen. A verbal kicking perhaps?
The trip back was without incident and I treated myself to a taxi for the last leg of the journey.