Reading for Friday, June 5
And so at last Pierre and Natasha are married. Oddly enough, the wedding is almost an incidental event in this chapter (despite the long build up – we’ve been waiting almost the entire novel for this!).
Instead, it’s the decline of the Rostovs that we witness. Old Count Rostov dies from depression and the guilt that he squandered the family fortune. Then we’re left with Nikolai trying to pay off the family debts and gradually finding himself in trouble as well.
But possibly the darkest moment in this chapter is his relationships with Sonya. From one of the most innocent of friendships at the beginning of the book, there’s nothing there now. We kind of expected this, but it does seem a bit hard on Sonya. Still, there’s a few more chapters to go – something might work out for him.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the next post, I’m going to post up this YouTube – it’s not really a video, but it’s the only place in the world where you can currently hear this amazing performance by Marc-Andre Hamelin and the Tonhalle Orchestra of Switzerland of the Piano Concerto by Ferrucio Busoni. It’s an obscure piece of music, but it’s completely epic. It’s in eight parts and runs for more than an hour (and what piano concerto runs for more than an hour?), so we’ll just do it in parts. Here’s Part One: