Epiphany #472

Pre-dawn, standing over the Bialetti, waiting for the second thrust of coffee through the nozzle (why doesn’t it come out on in one go?), I slowly recognised the overture to the Flying Dutchman on the radio, and thoughts cast back to my solitary ramblings in London in the 2000s. One moment that sticks is the weekday winter evening (2002?) when I borrowed my girlfriend’s car to drive to Stratford-upon-Avon simply to hear a play, can’t remember which, and drive back the same evening. Must have been Hamlet to justify such an act of devotion. As I crested the sedate and complacent residential surroundings of Crouch Hill, I remember being mesmerised by the scything string section which dominates another of Wagner’s overtures, that of Tannhäuser. To hear the recording of a live concert in the nighttime, especially when others are sleeping has an eerie intimacy, the applause between movements a ghostly echo resonating in lost time.