We have a late-morning start of 11 am, but the ensemble playing the Mozart Divertimento (KV 136) and the Bach Double Violin Concerto has begun rehearsing already. I arrive in time for most of it.


I apologise for the cloudy photo. My camera was too close to my ice-cold water bottle, so the lens apparatus fogged up as well.

It cleared up in time for the Bach Double:


The Mozart sounds lovely in the school hall. The energy of the opening Allegro seems to bounce off the walls. The middle Andante is vintage Mozart, such incredible sweetness it makes you want to cry, in your heart. The final Presto is the perfect antidote, as if Mozart is telling us “Stop being such a sentimental fool. Life is beautiful! Enjoy it!” A glorious, invigorating way to begin a morning.

It is the first time I have heard the Bach Double performed with such small forces, and I have to say I am a convert. It loses nothing of its flavour, and the articulation is even better.

Well done you, Ashley! Well-played!

Tutti rehearsal begins at 11. More Dvořák; the first and last movements.

Trudel finds the upper strings working too hard at one point in the first movement, and the heavy bowstrokes are taking away its delicacy. “Don’t build a house; just give a flower!” he advises. It seems to do the trick.

On to the last movement. We rehearse the entry with the viola “Potato” entry from the previous Scherzo. A quick page-turn, and we’re in! We work on this awhile, and break for lunch.

I make sure I have my part for the encore piece. (No, still not telling! You’ll just have to applaud on the night to find out!)

Most of us are free for the day. I hang around again for some of the Pulcinella: 



And then I decide to take in some of Bangalore. I text a friend, but she can’t meet up as she’s still at work, so I go off to Church Street, and stock up on back issues of BBC Music (available, with accompanying CDs, for Rs. 250, as opposed to 816 for a current issue!) from the Magazines basement store. And some good ol’ Thomas the Tank Engine for Manuel!

And any guesses for what’s on the CD accompanying the September 2012 back issue that I find?


There’s no getting away from you, Antonin, or from your New World!

The cats at the Magazine store are Persian, Siamese and alley. They are quite a fixture at the shop, and I’m told they even have a Facebook page! I try to count them. I get to about six, but then am not sure if I’ve counted some of them twice, and they’re not really staying still to oblige me, so I give up.

The lady at the check-out desk seems to recognise me, so I ask her if I can leave my instrument and bag at the store. She relents.

Last stop Blossoms, the second-hand book store, also on Church Street. You have to know where to look for books on music. There are a few in the Music section, of course. But you can stumble upon some great finds at bargain prices if you’re patient enough to trawl through the Biographies section. You have to lift whole rows of books off the shelves, to find more rows hidden behind them. I find a book on Nadia Boulanger, and on Charles Ives.

And what with the Canadians in town, guess what’s lying invitingly on the Music shelf: “Discord: The Story of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.”  by John Becker, mine for just a little more than the rickshaw fare to RT Nagar.

Storm clouds are beginning to gather by now, so I know it’s time to head back. I get into a rick, and can’t resist the urge to leaf through my newly-purchased hoard. I pick up Discord, and it grips me. The problems seem to be timeless. Orchestras and music initiatives seem to be plagued by the same issues even today. And somehow reading a book called Discord amidst the cacophony of blaring horns, car stereo music and beeping indicators, and the low rumble and occasional crash of thunder seems hugely apt.

I am able to give Ms. Rain another raincheck, and I open the front door, dry as an Arab’s sandal, while it pours buckets outside. Nah-nah-Nahnah-na!