It's been some while since I joined in the F3 challenge but after my last blog-post here, about musical theatre, the three words for this weeks' challenge: FRENETIC, HOBBIT and CUMMERBUND just conjured up this orchestral piece!
As always, feel free to comment, good or bad - it's nice to know who's called in. (and what they have to say! ;-p)
Agitated was not the word.This was the seventh interruption in as many minutes, but in the safety of the third row violins I could at least bob down behind the music stand and share a scowl with Eloise beside me.
“No. No. NO! Again. Again. This is supposed to be one of the most romantic pieces of music and you are treating it like a Saturday night fumble on the back row of the movies!”
Maestro was not amused. Maestro was decidedly determined we should repeat and repeat the same half dozen bars of Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto.
“The hair!” whispered Eloise, deftly marking her outburst as an attempt to clear her throat. The accompanying movement of her eyes directed me towards the torrid figure manically tapping his baton on the score laid out before him. A sheen of sweat was breaking out on his top lip and his artistic mane of hair was scattered about his head as he feverishly raked his fingers through the mid-brown tresses. Hopping about on the podium he reminded me of a rather frenetic hobbit. Perhaps it was the hairy toes that coloured my judgement.
Among his many peculiar foibles, Maestro would always conduct rehearsals barefoot. It was one of those eccentric absurdities that added to the mystique of his character. Even during performances, he was frequently spotted wriggling his feet out of his Italian leather loafers between movements. After the first few times one grew used to it, but it always caught out new members of the orchestra. We thought of it as a sort of unwritten initiation test; to see how well they could restrain themselves from laughing out loud as Maestro counted time with his wiggling digits, resplendent in his dress tux and scarlet cummerbund.
“And again, if you please…..!”
I eased the violin into place on my shoulder and lifted the bow ready. The smirk pulling at the corner of my mouth was becoming harder to conceal and I blessed my good fortune at being several rows back from the front.
Then I caught that odd twinkle in his eye as he cast his gaze over the assembled company. Music in our souls fused together in perfection as each instrument added layer upon layer of nuance to the main theme. Whatever his peculiarities, or his diminutive stature, with his free hand outstretched as if to draw out of us the rapture of the music we were captivated; willing supplicants to his Svengali-like hold over us.
Well, supplicant in the pursuit of musical perfection, at any rate. Many stars had burned brightly under his tutelage and guidance but I had not been sad to relinquish my place in his affections, nor with my demotion from the 1st violins. I was content with my place on the third row; it brought a useful but regular source of income, without the stress of having to constantly fight for my place in the limelight, unlike the current favourite acquiescing to his every whim and insecure in her place next to the leader.
Thinking back over the years I counted myself fortunate. Our brief dalliance at the start of his meteoric career served to remind me that I could not have lived with the highly-strung ego such a perfectionist necessitated. Or with the sight of those hairy toes each morning, I thought, supressing a stray giggle in my throat as I leaned my chin into the rest and settled the bow onto the strings.