Break a leg!
March 1, 2007
A young member of our German conversation group that meets on Thursdays fell on the ice last week (her first attempt at skating on the Rideau Canal—which has necessitated twelve metal bolts in her lower leg and ankle bones) and this morning about a dozen of us went to visit her, hoping to cheer her up. We all brought contributions of food, so that Celestina could keep the leftovers to save her family from having to shop and prepare meals during the next few days. Her mother has just flown over from Croatia. Although she speaks no English she made it clear she was glad to see us and, hand on heart, showed us photos of Celestina’s “tata” (dad) and “brat” (brother).
At Celestina’s apartment was a mixture of people from Croatia, Britain, Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Canada and the Ukraine… and then came three Estonians, our friend Ülle unexpectedly turning up with the two gentlemen she had picked up at the airport on their way to perform in a concert at the university this evening. Based at Tallinn University, they are the guitarist, Heiki Mätlik, and the violinist, Urmas Vulp, the latter being a member of the Tallinn String Quartet. These two musicians, champions of the music of Arvo Pärt and other Estonian composers, are presently on tour in North America, in Washington last week, in Montreal tomorrow, Chicago sometime soon.
I’m not sure how Ülle had persuaded them to come with her to Celestina’s, but they met us most willingly, it seems, and having shared our spread-out lunch, they also agreed to play for Celestina, her leg stretched out on the couch. And so we became the audience for the following, impromptu, chamber music concert:
Heino Eller (Estonian) — Berceuse, Nordic Melody and Moment Musicale
Jean Sibelius — Romanze
Raimond Valgre (Estonian) — Dreams in Music
George Gershwin– Summertime from Porgy and Bess (arranged for violin and guitar)
What a serendipitous experience!
By the way, Mr Mätlik wants me to advertise his CD of Russian Romantic Songs!