Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He left Petrograd yesterday for Helsingfors

"Feodor, I want you to go to the booking-office of the Finnish station at the departure of the train for Helsingfors at five-thirty. There you will meet a fair-haired young man who knows you by sight. He will say the word 'Anak,' and when he does, hand him this in secret. He will quite understand."

This order I carried out. I had not been at the crowded station five minutes when a young man, carrying a small handbag, elbowed his way through the excited crowd and uttered in an undertone the word "Anak." I greeted him, and surreptitiously handed him the little packet, for which he thanked me and disappeared on to the platform.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

They illegally impressed me at Helsingfors

"In my young days I shipped aboard a bark plying between Helsingfors and New York."

"You are a Russian?"

"I am a Finlander, Madam."

"Have you been a sailor all your life?"

"Yes, Madam. For a time I was an unimportant officer on board a battleship in the Russian Navy, until I was discovered to be a Nihilist, when I was cast into prison. I escaped last May, and came to New York."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Great pianist

In 1881 Busoni toured Italy and was made a member of the Reale Accademia Filharmonica at Bologna. In 1886 he went to reside at Leipsic. Two years later he became teacher of pianoforte at the Helsingfors Conservatory in the Finnish capital. In 1890 he captured the famous Rubinstein prizes for both pianoforte and composition. In the same year he became Professor of pianoforte playing at the Moscow Imperial Conservatory.

Frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland

 I never addressed myself, in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent an...