Generations

Last Friday, to the SOH to hear the SSO.

At interval, a young couple came and sat in the empty seats next to me. They affected a slightly snobbish condescension about the Tchaikovsky 5 which was to come.

I mentioned to them that Tchaikovsky 5 was the first symphony I heard in the Concert Hall when I heard the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra play it in what I’m pretty sure was a pre-opening try-out in 1973.

Doubtless they thought that meant I must be very old.

It’s all relative, of course. Before the concert I was chatting to Co, a concert- and opera-going acquaintance of mine who went to the same school as I but 15 or so years earlier. It was all getting a bit olde worlde as another friend of his, Da, came up and mentioned he had received “correspondence” from Co. Were they sending each other actual letters?

Co said he had been down to Canberra the day before with a friend to see the Menzies exhibition at Old Parliament House. Oddly enough, my sister and nephew, visiting Canberra from WA, were also there just the week before.

Co thought the Menzies exhibition a bit of a swizz (it stopped at 1941) but also mentioned he had never been to OPH before. Da then claimed that the last time he had been to OPH was 1946, before he went to England, when (obviously) it was not yet “O.” “It was in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “There was nothing there.”

By my reckoning, that made Da either a very youthful traveller or remarkably well preserved. Either way, I was impressed.

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