On the night I got the “SAPSAN” train from St Petersburg to Moscow, as I boarded, this piece of music started to play full-blast in the station.
At first I didn’t really understand what was going on, it made the whole boarding process so dramatic and joyous. It was awesome!
I asked around for some explanation and the people told me that it’s a tradition (since 1965) to play this tune whenever you board a night train from St Petersburg to Moscow. The piece is called “The Hymn to the Great City” and was composed by Reinhold Glière.
What a wonderful, wonderful thing! I wonder what other beautifully poetic initiative we could come up with if our societies weren’t only based on profit. I was truly transported (well, literally!) and it will remain a very special memory for me. I guess the russians still have a thing or two to teach us.