Perugia is stunning. I wonder why the rest of the world outside of Italy was ever created when we could eat this pasta and drink this espresso eternally. Both are incomparable. Perhaps Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was an expression of his longing for this caffeine high. My final Louange of the piece certainly carries me to this state of ecstasy.
Simply to look out my window makes me happy, the pedestrian brick boulevards opening into mini-piazzas with secretive vicoli shooting off in every which way, each one telling its own mysterious story. All-Saints’ Day brings crowds of people to the streets despite the steady drizzle.
Pasta and more pasta. The first time I ordered pizza to diversify my experience, I regretted it as I listened to my colleagues chewing their fresh pasta. At one meal a tasting menu of three pastas, all with very forgettable names but unforgettable flavors.
At the theatre in Perugia the dressing rooms must have been built at a time in human evolution when people were six inches shorter. The extra violin in the Bartok threatens to slide right off the chair and into the audience because of the sloping stage; this also results in Mitsuko’s right hand being lower than her left hand on the piano. But the hall sounds wonderful and looks even more magnificent. The screen behind us on the stage is awesome, an enormous tapestry of a crowd that dwarfs and seemingly envelops us.
After the months apart since our performances in May, we are becoming reacquainted with one another on stage, old teammates gauging each others’ timing. There is an occasional blip but the essence of the performance remains the same: a spirit of loving support coming from Mitsuko and the BBT, and a feeling of awe and appreciation from the four of us boys.
Goodbye Perugia, on to Amsterdam!
Mitsuko Uchida and Franco Buitoni in Perugia