On Tuesday 11th December we braved the bitter cold and threats of fog to attend the concert entitled “Russian Winter and Gypsy Fire” at the National Centre for Early Music in York. Sadly, most of the YTI members who had booked to come were unable to for one reason or another, so our group was very reduced in number. Still, those of us who did get there greatly enjoyed listening to the conservatoire-trained trio of musicians that make up Koshka as they played a wide range of tunes, including some wonderful, lively gypsy music, with great technical skill and infectious enthusiasm.
However, the event had been billed as being a mix of music and seasonal tales, which was rather misleading – the musicians did tell a few anecdotes, remembering for instance from their schooldays in Siberia a dire warning to parents that the winter was unseasonably warm and temperatures might reach as high as -9°C, rendering the nearby frozen lake too dangerous to cross on the way to school, or a crazy sergeant decorating a Christmas tree with hand grenades, but they weren’t exactly the winter and Christmas folk tales we had been expecting.
Nonetheless, we had a good time, and it made a very nice change from writing Christmas cards!