Gold Stories


The concert hall at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest is a fine, wood-panelled room with a marvellous acoustic. We had done relatively little in the city, but word about us must have got around because, despite a capacity of only 1,200 seats, there were 1,500 people crammed into the hall on the first night, and 2,000 on the second. It was the most extraordinary sight. Every single gangway was packed with people standing and, other than a narrow pathway for us to get on and off stage and just enough room for us to fit in behind our music stands, the place was solid with bodies. The atmosphere was electric: every piece received wild applause and, by the time we left the stage after our final encore, the concert had lasted three hours. We collapsed backstage in our dressing room and began to change, only to be interrupted half an hour later when somebody rushed in from the hall to say that we had to go back as the audience was still there, still applauding. There was nothing for it but to return in various states of undress


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