Life - Part 5

“In order to practice on holiday and when traveling”…Was this said in seriousness or just to get rid of the idly curious? It is hard to say. At the same time, it is hard to name another instrument whose spirit, like the violin’s, was so much in the air. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone wanted to be a violinist. It was more popular, more true to say that everyone wanted to be a pilot, a flyer, but….A Busya Goldstein from every communal flat radio speaker. The scout Busya Goldstein on Stalin’s knees. Soviet violinists who took five out of six prize places in the capitalist competition in Brussels in 1937 – that was given wide coverage in the press in a victorious spirit. And according to reminiscences, the train in which they returned was met at the Byelorussian railway station by a crowd numbering in the thousands. Finally, the prewar film “The Beethoven Concerto,” which the whole country watched and which the future mother, when still a girl, most certainly had to have seen. In it, an old and imposing instructor teaches his eleven year old son, who looks more like his grandson, to play this very concerto for a festival in Moscow. The story line of the film is that the teacher also has another student, the son of a locomotive driver who is, of course(!) more capable. So who will play Beethoven at the festival? You just have to imagine in the darkness of the hall, against the background sound of the wonderful music (performed by Polyakin) – a twelve year old girl who knows about her father that he is also a violinist and teacher but for some reason does not consider her his daughter, and for that reason she is living with her grandfather and grandmother, rather than with her mother and father.

“A certain Lekger,” about whom Girshovich writes, actually existed. He is carried from the field of literature to the field of reality by the fact that he had students who are now alive and well – and they must be our contemporaries. He taught in the conservatories out in the republics: Yerevan, Kharkov, Lvov. He created a good school, in the best traditions of violin pedagogy – at first many etudes, then serious works. His name turns up in a biography of Yesenin (the poet heard him in Yerevan during his trip to the Caucasus). But in our photo album you find him in only one photograph, where he is still very young. This portrait has no dedications on it. It is a silent witness to a drama which played out. Nothing has come down to us that would tell us about his interest in the grandson – but it is possible that the acoustics here caused the glitch.