I love being in the woods, I always did. As I child would be found most of the time either in the wood behind our house, spring, summer, autumn or winter. While I am writing this I am aware that the wood north-west of our house has been calling me for days. “Come over to us”, it says in a gentle voice, “it is cool here. Get out out of that dreadful heat.” And it’s true, the thermometre indicates 36° C today, in the woods it would be a little fresher. “Here, the blackberries are ripe, didn’t you want to make jam? And the elderberries too!”, another voice is trying to seduce me.
There is no life without Bach, at least not for me, and the moment you are reading this, I will be far away from home, on the beach, sitting in the sand, looking at the blue sky and doing nothing. Nothing except reading, listening to Bach and perhaps pondering whether I will run once more across the beach and throw myself into the waves. Right, I am on my much deserved vacation while at home the grape harvest has begun and the weather is gradually changing into a familiar grey-with-occasional-rain pattern. Welcome autumn!
May 14, 1847: Fanny Mendelssohn dies in Berlin. Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann’s wife is aghast. “The case of [Felix] Mendelssohn’s sister is very sad. I just had had the chance to get to know her in Berlin and think highly of her. We saw each other every day, had planned to go sight-seeing in Berlin when we would meet next and to perform together. She most likely was the best female musician of her time […] I had dedicated my trio, that expect to be printed very soon, to her and now she is dead!”
One of the hottest days of this summer. The air is dead calm and the heat rests like leaden weights on my shoulders. I am walking across a deserted industrial site. I am waiting for the bus. And I make a discovery. A female composer. From a land not exactly predominant in classical music. Grazyna Bacewicz. She was born in 1909 in Lodz (Poland), she died in 1969 in Warsaw of a heart attack. I had been deeply impressed by Krystian Zimerman’s recording of Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 20 in A Major and I was looking for other recordings by Zimerman. And I found Grazyna Bacewicz’ Piano Quintet No. 1 performed by Rafal Kwiatkowski, Ryszard Groblewski, Kaja Danczowska, Zimerman and Agata Szymczewska.