I promised you death. Nothing personal. But, none of us can escape the Grim Reaper, however long we might live. Not that I am depressed, but I am not festive either. My thoughts are more regarding two outstanding musical figures who passed away recently: Mariss Jansons and (pictured) Christopher Rouse. Coincidentally two of my interviewees. I heard of Mariss’s death while in hospital. I enjoyed talking with him about Mahler 6 (before he conducted it with the LSO, years ago). A nice man, friendly, chatty and up-to-date with Mahlerian scholarship (i.e. the order of the middle movements) and when we finished the conversation and I thanked him for his time he said: “It was a pleasure to talk with you.” Ah! As for Chris, his death came before my hospital internment. I was shocked. Another nice man, and a great composer: music that he told me reflected “being alive”. So, it is dark, violent, complex, a deeply emotional roller coaster, consolatory, too, and always vividly communicative. I hope to hear his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies one day, the former from 2017 (Dallas/van Zweden), the latter a posthumous premiere (Cincinnati/Langrée); Chris’s final music, which he knew it to be. I am so pleased we kept in contact and that he contributed to Classic Source’s Berlioz 150 and Leonard Slatkin @ 75 features. I am now thinking of also-late musicians that I have very happy memories of talking with: Pierre Boulez, Colin Davis, Vernon Handley, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner and André Previn.