By this time, Galina Vishnevskaya was all too well acquainted with the absurdities of Soviet life. In her memoirs she recalled Igor Markevich being granted permission to perform Haydn’s Creation but only if it was expunged of all references to God.
On another occasion she remembered performing at the Bolshoi before a group of prize-winning collective farmers who had been rewarded for their efforts with tickets in the front row. A Stakhanovite peasant woman directly behind the conductor grew restive during the overture, leant over the orchestra pit and bawled out: “Why are you waving your arms like a windmill? Get out of the way! You’re blocking my view!”