"Carmen" on Tuesday night with J.D. I thought it as fine as ever. Yesterday was All Saints Day, and I walked in the Montmartre Cemetery.
A very few women here and there with moist eyes. A file of soldiers (seasoned) at the gates, made to supply the absence of an iron railing to separate incoming from outgoing crowds - and naturally looking stupid. Also policemen and officials. In the street flower shops and stalls, and wreath shops and stalls and quantities of cabs.
At night I went to Calvocoressi's, and met Vignes the pianist, and extraordinary enthusiast for Russian music and an exceedingly fine player. The two first played a duet, and then Vignes had the piano to himself. What struck me was the fine pure quality of the pleasure we obtained, all of us, the simplicity of the enthusiasm; and yet what years of cultivation had gone to provide it, in all of us. Calvocoressi's mother sat upright, on an ordinary cane chair, half blind with cataract, and encouraged our enthusiasm. I expressed my pleasure. "Mais croyez-vous que nous sommes pas heureux comme tout, tous les quatre!" said Calvocoressi, his face beaming.
Vignes, having played a piece, would usually turn back the pages to find some particular passage and would end by playing the whole thing again. When explaining the beauties of passages while he played them he became quite incomprehensible to me, what with his bad accent and his rapidity. Yes, what struck me as I came away was the singular "purity" of it all, the absence of sex, of anything in the nature of an aftertaste. It reminded me of fine musical evenings in London.