Sometimes, a piece of music touches you so deeply you feel raw, exposed. You wonder how is it that a non-living thing can understand you, complete you. And then you realize it is living...
I think Mozart's delightful sonata (E minor, KV 304) triggered those feelings in me. Or it might have been Antonín Dvořák's sonatina in G major, Op. 100. Or perhaps Jules Massenet's Thaïs Meditation..
I was thrilled to learn that the two musicians at last Wednesday's concert at Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah were from the Czech Republic (the Czech ambassador's car should have tipped me off). I could show off the limited (about 15 words tops) Czech I knew!
It was clear from his performance that Adam Skoumal, the pianist, enjoyed every minute of it, his head bobbing to the tunes along with the rest of him swerving to them. He played exceedingly well.. and he knew it.
And the violinist? Roman Patočka?
He seemed to be in a passionate affair with his violin, wooing it, refusing to take no for an answer. His bow was a blur of motion on the fiddle, as it strummed out one beautiful, heartrending melody after another, moving me to my very soul.
They also played a composition of Adam's to the public for the first time ever.
Of course, they received a much deserved standing ovation. After bowing and posing with their bouquets, they stepped off stage, deliberated for about 40 seconds, then returned, announcing they would play Debussy's Claire de Lune.
What a treat!
After the show, I excitedly cornered the rosy-cheeked violinist, Roman Patočka (pronounced patochka), greeting him with a 'dobrý večer!' (good evening, pronounced Dobree Vecher). He was delighted. I announced that I'd holidayed in the Czech Republic the year before and visited the Moravský Kras (limestone caves) and other gorgeous places there. I don't know why I thought he'd care to know that. I suppose like most people I'm under the illusion that on meeting someone from a far off land, you must immediately establish an inane familiarity with said land, no matter what the topic (when I tell foreigners I'm Indian when they ask me where I'm from, they almost always reveal their longing to visit Goa). Well in my case it wasn't inane. So there.
Back to Roman. He was as sweet and friendly as all the other Czech people we met in the CZ, with an adorable, disarming smile. Of course, I took a picture with him. Lately, I've been taking a lot of pictures with random guys - nomad painters, comedians, musicians, cosplayers..
I wanted to buy their CD but they were sold out.
I waved goodbye to them with a cheery 'Nashledanou' (Goodbye, pronounced Nas-khladanou) and they responded likewise.
I leave you with Adam's dramatic composition (that I listen to everyday) - excuse the not-so-fantastic quality. I tried.