I was feeling sorry for myself last night.  It has been a very busy, crazy couple of weeks.  I’ve been fighting a cold for most of it, plus I have somehow wrenched my shoulder out of place and am fitting physio appointments into everything else.  And there I was, on the tube, my violin over my back, on my way to a special orchestra rehearsal in preparation for our concert this Sunday evening.  And last night was Friday night.  Friday night!  We never have rehearsals on Friday, especially since we’ll also rehearse on Sunday afternoon before the 7.30 opening notes.  But it was the only time we could meet with our soloist, so, dedicated bunch that we are, there we all were last night from 7 -10 pm, rehearsing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor.

Well, that is one of my favourite pieces in the world, and I was thrilled to see, not surprisingly, that our soloist, Jonathan Ayling, plays is magnificently.  Listening to him play would have been enough to get me out of my Friday night doldrums, I think.  But during the second movement, I had an epiphany that I wanted to share.  During a long expanse of rests, I was carried away by the emotion of the piece and I realized, “this is why I love music.  This is why I particularly love performing music.”  As a writer I spend my life putting everything I see and feel into words.  Everything gets a label, a definition.  But with music, I don’t do that.  What I feel while I’m playing music I don’t name, don’t describe, don’t associate with other unrelated things.  I don’t have to spell it out, explain or categorize it, rhyme it, string letters together to create some sort of onomatopoetic portrayal of it.  Music, I just feel. Presently and regardless. And it seems to be the only way I can stop all those words in my head.  So by the time I was back on the tube on my way home I felt better, and I slept better than I had all week.

So, if you are in London, do come to the concert of the Kensington Philharmonic on Sunday, 22 November at 7.30 pm, Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road SW3.  Tickets are available at the door for £12 (£2 under twelves).  It’s a wonderful all-Dvorak program including, besides the Cello Concerto, Three Slavonik Dances, and his Symphony No 9 in E Minor known as “From the New World.”  I promise you’ll be transported.

And if you can’t come along, here’s a performance of my “epiphanal” moment from the concerto’s 2nd movement.  Take it away Yo Yo: