Post by deb
I'm extremely sorry to tell the Group that Michael died yesterday in Western
General Hospital, Edinburgh. He had been chronically ill for many years, and
acutely ill for a week, and the strain was simply too much for a system in
such delicate balance.
He loved the Wagner Group, and valued the friends he made there, and the
stimulating dialogue about the composer nearest his heart. I know he will be
much missed. I have met some of you, and found kind and lively minds that
tuned well with his. I'm sure you will remember his contribution to your
lives as gratefully as I will remember our forty-six years together. We fell
in love over Wagner, and went to dozens of performances of his operas in
Europe and America. Mike has gone, and the music—as great music must—remains.
First of all, our sincerest condolences with this loss. Both Astrid and
I are shocked reading this. And literally lost for words.
Astrid and I are in France, our yearly stay in what we call our summer
residence, just a mobile home, nothing special. Mike knew we had this
thing in the North of Brittany. What I do want to mention is, that our
Internet connectivity is so lousy and often lacking, that we only
learned today, twelve days later, of this sad news.
As you remember, we met twice or thrice. The four of us had dinner
together in a restaurant in Cambridge, we went to a pub in a village
nearby Cambridge and we spent an evening in your home, then near
Cambridge. And Astrid was so lucky to have your apartment in Edinburgh
with some friends of hers during a weekend in November.
Of course we talked a lot about Wagner and performances and I still
cherish some CD's and DVD's he gave us. I will feel his wisdom for a
very long time to come. Not only Wagner - let us not forget how fond he
was of Sibelius and how he loved watching ballets with you, Deb.
We knew he how seriously ill he was, we knew he was never to recover,
but we hoped that he still had a long time to go in his beloved
Edinburgh - how sad it is to learn, that such was not his luck. We do
hope, that he passed away peacefully.
We both longed so much to see you both back in Edinburgh some day,
maybe even next winter or spring in good health, and now that is too
BBC Music Magazine will never be the same again and the world became
poorer this month.
Deb, as soon as I can, I will get in touch with you - if you like! Our
thoughts are with you.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Herman van der Woude
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