On the Road

March 28, 2012

Sculpture of St. George on the façade of the Palace.

There has been a bit of a break in blogging, since I’m in Barcelona with all the non-cyber delights that the city involves. Last night was the formal commemoration of the Montsalvatge centenary by the government of Catalonia. It’s terribly impressive to an American to see such official honors heaped onto a musician — including by the “Senyor President,” “Senyora Presidenta del Parlament,” government ministers, and the musical dignitaries of the place. Your humble American minstrel was stunned, first, to be invited by the President at all — addressed as “El Biògraf de Xavier Montsalvatge en anglès,” then to be met at the gate by a functionary who called me by name before I could timorously identify myself, then to be shown to a seat with leaders of the rich cultural life here. Imagine.

The panegyrics offered by the country’s highest authorities were worthy of a composer who, in life, had won his homeland’s highest honors, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat and the Cross of St. George, as loftily named on the invitation.

And nothing could have made a grander setting than the palace’s Sala de Sant Jordi:

President Mas was eloquent:

The Montsalvatge family were suitably delighted by the ceremonies:

And we feasted into the night, fittingly, on Xavier Montsalvatge’s favorite dish, escargots. Yes!

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