friday， 23 october， 1908
my dear parents，
i have just been asked to participate in the gala concert that will be given on monday eveninginhonor of the king and queen. ihave accepted. iam to play a handel concerto for organ andorchestra and the organ part inbach's magnificence. the tickets are horrendously expensive. some of the boxes cost one thousandfrancs！the net receipts are earmarked for thecatalonian orphans. iam the only soloist inthisconcert.
i get no chance to write because so much timeis wasted here；yesterday's rehearsal dragged onuntil 12∶30 a.m.！today from 2∶00 to 6∶00！no one ever hurries， and they all smoke constantly. no soonerhave we rehearsed for ten minutes than the conductor sits down， rolls himself a cigarette， and smokes it， and the instrumentalists do likewise…and they don't continue rehearsing until the cigarette has beensmoked.paul could see fiddlers galore here，eachfiddlingaway with a cigarette in the corner of hismouth. atfirst iwas annoyedatthe waste of time，but nowi am quite domesticated， andismile.
the newspapers have reported very positively on my lecture and my recital.on saturday evening the auditorium will be sold out. i live very sensibly. i have just taken a big two-hour strollalong the large ring street，which runs from the hotel to the mountains. no rehearsal tomorrow morning！i'll sleep， write… and take a walk.