Kirill Kondrashin

Написал англичанам маленькое воспоминание о Кирилле Петровиче. Грустно стало, аж до слез. Интересно – о себе я никогда не грущу, а как пишу о других – так просто ад как горестно.

Soon after 1974 Tchaikovsky competition I have got numerous invitations from Kirill. You can’t find more direct way to learn somebody’s soul than performing together regular. After couple of seasons of performing together we were very close friends-musicians. In September 1975 we started playing together. Kirill was a very severe gentleman, and a profound and powerful musician. After a few concerts we were playing really well together, and thereafter we gained immense pleasure from working together and spending time in each other’s company.

Over the years we worked together, Kirill was kind enough to teach me the subtleties of conducting.
He was very pedantic musically and as human being. Kind of we were calling those days “dry” man. In fact he was not at all. That was to our “sentimental Russian taste” of those days which was much more emotional-irrational rather that European style behavior as he was.
Also, it has become obvious to me; he was not much opening himself as he was in “transitional period” short before defecting on the West.
My view at Kirill as a musician did not change much since the time we worked together.
He was very fine musician. Maestro. Knew his subject from A to Z. What was lacking – spontaneity, genius. Big talent,solid musician.
As many serious Russian artists Kirill could not escape thoughts about leaving USSR. All people who were becoming self depending individuals were automatically thinking about extending their freedoms. Private and artistic. It was lucky coincidence Kirill met the lady he loved on the West.
All the weight of being was voting for the move. Freedom of art, freedom of private life, freedom of expression, free life with full possible joy of life was in front of him. “Burn the hard past” became morally and materially possible.
His first emotional reaction on the West was the famous phrase he said: “I only regret I did it so late”. It was prophetic. He died of heart failure in 1981. Only three years later he defected in Holland.

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