Violinist gives capsule masterclass on writing.

I went to a wonderful concert last night  -- Haydn and Mozart chamber music on original instruments.  I don’t see (hear) nearly enough classical music live, it seems to slip below films and theatre and hanging around doing not very much, but the amazing violinist of this group, Catherine Manson, also happens to be a friend so I had an excuse.

We went backstage afterwards and I was thinking that this must be what it’s like to perform Hamlet twice in one day (there was an afternoon concert as well).

How on earth do you do it, I asked, when I should have been thinking up more ecstatic words for the quality of the playing.

My friend laughed.

I start at the top of the page and just play like mad till I run out of notes, said she.

Which was the nicest, truest, most modest thing I’ve heard in ages, and I won’t even mention that it’s the same with writing books, only with words instead of notes.