We flew into Rome on Saturday minus one cellist who forgot his passport that morning and therefore not only missed the flight but also embarkation onto our charter yacht, Wind Spirit. Hopefully he will be boarding later today in Siracuse, Sicily, our first port of call.
Our Music Cruise programme got off to a great start. Anna Hashimoto’s Mozart Clarinet Concerto was outstanding in the opening concert, in which Stephanie Gonley also directed a spirited performance of Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Sergej Krylov’s violin playing yesterday afternoon (Mendelssohn D minor Concerto and a Paganini Caprice) was unforgettable, and he also proved himself to be an excellent conductor (Mozart G minor symphony). ECO principal cellist Caroline Dale shone in Tchaikovsky’s touchingly beautiful Andante Cantabile for cello and strings, whilst Behzod Abduraimov’s solo piano recital last night was a revelation (Danse Macabre and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz no.1 were spine-tinglingly exciting).
As well as terrific music-making we have also enjoyed perfect weather, a dramatic view of Stromboli at dusk yesterday, dolphins frolicking alongside the ship at breakfast time, and some happy reunions with previous music cruise passengers and musicians. Everyone is so happy to be back on board the exquisite Wind Spirit!