Arvo Prt Kissed My Hand

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

ARVO PÄRT - kissed my hand

Date: 27th May 2011

Arvo  Pärt– kissed my hand

As I was leaving the Cathedral on Friday, someone called my name and it was Paul Edlin, arranger of the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival whom I’d met a few weeks ago at a friend’s house. On that occasion he’d mentioned Arvo Part (sorry I can’t do umlauts – there should be one over the ‘a’) whose works I’ve heard on Classic FM and I expressed an interest in the concert about which I’d totally forgotten. As we were exchanging pleasantries, he saw Arvo approaching and introduced us. With true East European gallantry, Arvo kissed my hand and I was immediately smitten by the kindness (and dare I say suffering/compassion) in his eyes.

Paul mentioned there were a few tickets left for the concert that night in the Cathedral so I raced across the square and booked – even though I don’t really like going to Concerts or the Theatre on my own.

WOW WOW and more WOW.

We had the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and the Philharmonia Orchestra performing works by Arvo, Britten, Gorecki, and others.

Plain song in our wonderful Cathedral defies description. The Concert ended with a UK Premiere of Arvo’s work ‘Adam’s Lament’ which was simply sublime. It was so moving, I had a lump in my throat and a woman across the aisle was weeping.

I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to go on my own – wouldn’t have missed it for worlds and am kicking myself that I was unaware of all the other performances of Baltic+ during the week in and around Canterbury.

Don't have a photo of Arvo so will put in a photo of the Book of Remembrance from Biggin Hill Chapel.

ARVO PÄRT - kissed my hand

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