10 February 2014

Igor Fyodorovich in an unlikely place

[ 7 Feb ]

At the MFA shop on Friday, Michael rang up the order for a young man, while I assisted with the bagging.  A Baroque piece was playing in the shop, and I hopped aboard soncially, humming a measure or two.

"Do you know this piece?," he queried, with his face lit up.

"Actually, no," I replied, telling the truth, and shaming the devil.

"I can find out, if you want," Michael offered.

"No, thank you;  I only wondered if you know much about music."

"I'm a composer, and while I don't know all music, there is quite a deal of music which I do know."

— "Oh. I wondered if you know much about Stravinsky?"

"I am a particular fan of Stravinsky, and I know a great deal of his music."

— "What music of his would you recommend?"

"Well, he wrote in quite a variety of styles across his career.  If you tell me a piece of his you especially like, I may be able to suggest something similar"

— "Apollon musagète." [Not a piece I should have guessed he would reply with!]

"Orpheus is exquisite," I offered.  "Also, perhaps the Symphony of Psalms."

Shortly afterward, I waited myself upon a somewhat less young gentleman.

"I should have suggested A Soldier's Tale."

Took me a second to twig that he was picking up on the Stravinsky conversation.

Naturally, I agreed on the excellence of the piece . . . and then I related the story of how I came to play the Soldier in a stage production of L'histoire at the College of Wooster.

It is not every shift at the MFA gift shop when I get a chance to chat Stravinsky up.

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