Bruckner & FriendshipSaturday, June 24, 2006
Today we are going to celebrate Graham Walker's 50th birthday even though it is next week. We are going to meet at a downtown restaurant. He is going to be lured by his wife Cathy to a dinner for two.
Recently Graham Walker (above as a baby, is a Scottish born graphic designer who has a fondness for polished shoes) sent me an email: "I have recently bought my first Bruckner recording, Symphony no. 9 unfinished. It has some interesting rehearsal tracks with the conductor talking about the work and it's reconsctructed fourth movement. I was wondering if we should have a listen to it together in honour of Juan Castelao. I know he is a big Bruckner fan."
Graham and I attend many concerts together, but principally of the baroque variety. Our friendship with Pamplona born conductor of the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra has widened our horizons a bit! Alas, Juan is back to working on his thesis in Oviedo. But that did not prevent Juan from expressing his opinion and suggesting (and I translate from his Spanish): "I am very sorry that I will not be there to listen to Bruckner's 9th which is one of my favourite symphonies in spite of the sadness of the 3d movement. As a matter of fact you should know that Bruckner left written instruction that his Te Deum should be played as the 4th movement of this symphony. So tell him to buy it."
I know what I wil have to buy for Graham as a birthday present. And soon Graham and I will sit in my living room. In memory of Juan we shall listen to Bruckner. Some of us are awfully lucky.