Track records

Mu­sic’s rail enthusiast­s

BBC Music Magazine - - First Transconti­nental Railroad -

Ce­cilia Bar­toli (pictured above) is a devo­tee of train travel, in part be­cause of her well-pub­li­cised fear of fly­ing which has lim­ited her ap­pear­ances in North Amer­ica. In the 1990s the Ital­ian mezzo-so­prano trav­elled from New York to Los An­ge­les in a pri­vate car at­tached to an Am­trak train, evok­ing the opera singers of an ear­lier age. An­tonín Dvorˇák was a very keen trainspot­ter. Not only did he en­joy criss-cross­ing Europe by rail but he spent his free time chat­ting to work­ers at Franz-josef Sta­tion in Prague. He mem­o­rised in­ter­na­tional train sched­ules and once claimed that the open­ing theme to his Sym­phony

No. 7 came to him at the Prague sta­tion, as a train car­ry­ing his coun­try­men ar­rived from Pest. Jean-ef­flam Bavouzet builds model train sets as a hobby. The Z-scale tracks that he uses are 220 times smaller than re­al­ity, about the width of a black key on the pi­ano. ‘When I’m trav­el­ling,’ he told us back in 2010, ‘I en­joy think­ing about new lay­outs and I even carry a lit­tle Märklin cir­cuit with me – one lo­co­mo­tive, one wagon and a lit­tle oval track. I can even set it up on the din­ner ta­ble af­ter a con­cert.’

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