With 88 Perfectly Synchronized Musicians

“This evening I was seized … quite unexpectedly with a burning inspiration…On this occasion I could not overcome my desire and afterwards became… carried away” ~ Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, on composing his Violin Concerto in D major.

I’m in luck, first row center

settling my glamorous wrap as

my wide-eyed measure’s taken

by my neighbor, an adorable three-year-old

Suzuki prodigy, solemn and thrumming

with admonitions and pure joy.

He salutes each new voice

“Viola!” and now “Flute!”

in tones one might reserve for

the discovery of a new galaxy.

I am enchanted by my refreshing

tour guide and his anxious parents relax

as I lean to confer after he announces

each necessary ingredient.  We rise

with the musicians — so close we could touch

the conductor and the young hip violinist

striding onto the stage in a burst of glory.

The first movement grabs us and we are flying

only remembering to breathe in the brief

silence before we are gently

lured back into the second.  Stroked

by all of these dedicated, hidden

hands: the craftsmen who made

these instruments of our delight,

the children in the long and lonely hours

of initiation before this group can claim them.

Singly working toward this moment

when this eager child leads me to magic

a new perception 

the layers of coherence revealed, as

taking my important place, I offer

my ears: the necessary

opening to our conjoined hearts.

___

Since Tchaikovsky was not a violinist, he sought the advice of Iosif Kotek (almost certainly his lover) on the completion of the solo part. “How lovingly he’s busying himself with my concerto!” Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother Anatoly on the day he completed the new slow movement. “It goes without saying that I would have been able to do nothing without him. He plays it marvelously.”  Tchaikovsky didn’t dare reveal his homosexuality, fearing it would ruin his chances for his work to be performed, and so there is yet another hidden, necessary ingredient in this breathtaking work.  And all hail to Nadezhda von Meck, who financially supported him for 13 years.

Inspired by: Adorable, Symphony

Here’s David Jarrett playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major op 35, if you have 38 minutes.  (Linger for four minutes of applause to settle your heart and enjoy the surprise solo in the final three minutes.)

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Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

3 thoughts on “With 88 Perfectly Synchronized Musicians”

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