Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

By the time I had put my bowler hat under my seat
in the grand circle at Queen's Hall I was in a state of
unsporting excitement about Kreisler. The name
itself was suggestive of eminence, and I was aware that
he was a great violinist, though I did not know that
he would afterwards become the most famous one in
the world. I was ^ also unconscious that I was in-
capable of discriminating between a good violinist
and a second-rate one. My capacity for admiration
was automatic and unlimited, and his photograph on
the programme made me fed that he must be a
splendid man. I was influenced, too, by the audience,
which showed its intensity of expectation by a subdued
hubbub of talk which suddenly ceased altogether and
was swept away by the storm of clapping which
greeted the appearance of Kreisler,

That he was an eminent violinist was obvious, even
to me, before he had played a single note of the
Handel Sonata with which the concert began. There
was something in the quirt and confident little swing
of his shoulders as lie walked on to the platform;
something about the way he bowed with his heels
together; something about his erect and dignified
attitude while the accompanist flattened the pages of
the music on the piano; this "something" impressed
me very much. Then with a compact and self-
possessed nod he was ready, and his lofty gaze was
again on the audience.

During the serenely opening bars of the accompani-
ment both the bow and the violin were hanging from
his left hand, and the inevitable gesture with which
he raised the instrument to his chin seemed to sustain
the rhythm of my excitement which reached its
climax as I heard th« first calm and eloquent phrase.