I was literally stunned to read of the suicide of local early music specialist Scott Reiss. Tim Page wrote a beautiful tribute on Saturday (Scott Reiss: In the Pipes, He Found a Calling, December 17) in the Post, and Matt Schudel contributed the official obituary (Musician Scott Reiss, Master of the Recorder, Dies, December 18) today. Here is some of what Tim Page wrote:
But there was another side to Scott Reiss, and those who were closest to him were shocked and saddened but not especially surprised when he walked out into his Arlington garden Wednesday afternoon, sat down by the grave of a beloved cat, and ended his life with a gunshot.Having heard and seen Scott Reiss play the recorder with Hesperus, I would never have imagined that this man's life, as animated as it was by a love of and delight in music, could end in suicide. We send our condolences to his wife and musical collaborator, Tina Chancey.
"Scott was a victim of mental illness," Chancey said yesterday. "He suffered from bipolar disease -- manic depression -- for most of his life, and he finally gave in to it. He just couldn't fight it off any longer. "He found much of his life very rewarding, but it was always a lot of work for him," she continued. "It was terribly difficult for him to stay balanced and productive. Considering all the pain that he was in, the fact that he was able to do as much as he did for so many years was a triumph that we should not underestimate."