Over the the years, many friends of mine have died - in their twenties of weird melanomas, in their thirties of weird infections and injuries, in their forties of heart attacks, and now that my cohort is really dying off - of everything in every organ.
Over the years I've written about the deaths (I really dislike words like passing) of people who have meant a lot to me - some whom I knew well - like Johnnie Apple (RW Apple Jr.), John Updike and Ted Kennedy but some of whom I've never met, like Sydney Pollack.
Well, I watch no TV; well actually I watch a lot of TV but it's Mezzo and Brava, and over the years I've grown to appreciate Claudio Abbado, especially when he conducted choral works. He looked a bit tired, sweaty and most recently really sick (with a bad disease), but he was a trooper and he kept on creating groups and conducting.
But he also did something I rarely see conductors do - after a piece is over, he not only recognizes the players and the audience in front - he looks up at the folks in the Family Circle/5th tier/whatever.
That's class - M. Abbado, I miss you already, rest in peace. Have a good sleep. Good night. You deserve it.