Se me viene a la memoria el retorno de Stravinsky a Rusia en 1962, con 80 años a cuestas, mucho dinero y la fama josquiniana y haydniana de ser considerado en vida como el más grande compositor del mundo.
Aquí un relato amable de su encuentro con Shostakovich en Moscú:
"Where is Shostakovich?" Stravinsky kept on asking from the moment he arrived. While Stravinsky was in Moscow, Shostakovich was in Leningrad; and just as Stravinsky went to Leningrad, Shostakovich returned to Moscow. As an artist, Shostakovich worshipped Stravinsky. He was his secret muse. Underneath the glass of his working desk, he kept two photographs: one of himself with the Beethoven Quartet; the other, a large portrait of Stravinsky.
They met at last in Moscow, at a banquet at the Metropole Hotel. The meeting was neither a reunion nor a reconciliation of the two Russias that had gone their separate ways in 1917. But it was a symbol of a cultural unity that, in the end, would triumph over politics. The two composers lived in separate worlds, but their music kept a single Russian beat.
It was a memorable occasion - one of those quintessentially "Russian" occasions that are punctuated by a regular succession of increasingly expansive vodka toasts - and soon, Craft recalled, the room was turned into a "Finnish bath, in whose vapours everyone, proclaiming and acclaiming each other's Russianness, says almost the same thing . . . Again and again, each one abases himself before the mystery of their Russianness, and so, I realise with a shock, does I S, whose replies are soon overtaking the toasts."
In a perfectly sober speech - he was the least alcoholically elevated of anyone in the room - Stravinsky proclaimed: "The smell of the Russian earth is different, and such things are impossible to forget . . . A man has one birthplace, one fatherland, one country - he can have only one country - and the place of his birth is the most important factor in his life . . . I did not leave Russia of my own will, even though I disliked much in my Russia and in Russia generally. Yet the right to criticise Russia is mine because Russia is mine and because I love it, and I do not give any foreigner that right."
He meant every word.
Sin embargo, la realidad parece haber sido muy diferente. Durante el encuentro de los dos grandes compositores, Stravinsky, el hombre del jet set, no descuidó oportunidad para poner más y más nervioso al tímido y golpeado Shostakovich. Se sabe que, al igual que Mravinsky, DSCH vivía en permanente estrés. La cara del maestro, dijo alguien, "era una bolsa de tics".
Y el pesado de IS feliz...