I Watched Penderecki Make Sketches. A Cellist’s Memory of a Certain Flight
Hadn’t it been for my beloved teacher Boris Pergamenschikow, I would have never been introduced so intimately into the universe of Krzysztof Penderecki. After more than two decades of encounters with Krzysztof, his family and his disciples, it is time to say goodbye and wish wholeheartedly a good passage into eternity. He left us on a Sunday; he couldn’t have chosen a better day. I spent this day going through my memories of him. Here is one I want to share with you. Many years ago, I was on the airplane sitting next to him, while on tour. At some point, he takes out a few sheets of white paper and a sharp pencil. He starts sketching. Trying not to be noticed, I follow the pencil. He is making circles; different size, concentric, some thick, some thin. I can’t stop looking at the lines, my mind revolves around them, and as they grip my eyes, I can’t resist and I give in. I ask him if he is working on a new piece. I get a smile in return; one of those he would generously give you: witty and charming. No, I just bought several new seeds of trees and I am figuring out how I will plant them after the tour”. Krzysztof Penderecki planted over 2000 different species in his garden. Today he is joining the great assembly of composers in heaven and will feverishly exchange all his daring musical ideas, his notes, his sketches. However I am convinced that he will also take walks and leave the musical rooms to knock at the door of the assembly of great botanists. He may even decide to elect that place as his main residence of eternal peace. Thank you, Maestro, for everything you have given us. Your music will always be alive down here and it will guide us to go and find you. And as your candle shines bright, your trees will continue to grow and touch the sky. There they will meet you again.