Mostly Mozart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The whole of Manhattan, it seems, has besieged Lincoln Center and is refusing to retreat until infused with refinement. Hushed voices rise and fall to accompany the smart click of heels on the foyer’s ornate marble. A cellist surveys the comfortable audience and shifts on his hard perch. He prepares to give voice to theme and variation.

Women venture from ticket rows to rest room queues. Two impoverished college students animatedly discuss grabbing coffee after the show; a patroness curls her lip and clutches her priority member’s ticket.

Madison Avenue elitists claim the orchestra and box seats with fair, patrician hands. Their eau de cologne, selling for eighty-five dollars per ounce behind lead glass plates, serves as a Parisian aperitif to the night’s fare: the epitome of Western culture. Ashes to ashes, as they say. Dust to dust would be just as apt; an underlying musty motif clings to the chandelier, the stage, the wings. It will snare the huddled masses by evening’s end so that the theater perpetuates its tale for another season.

The tuxedo-clad concertmaster bows a clarion call; black and white tuning notes fade into the opulent maroon of the curtain. Playbills, browsed through once, are subjected to the cruel foldings and unfurlings of an anxious audience. In the subsequent silence, the house dims. Nothing exists in the world but the musicians now girded in the ethereal blue of stage lights. An imperious man with an aquiline Old World nose strides to his throne and his shrine, the conductor’s podium. He does not engage the auditorium in pleasantries but instead pauses, face uplifted as though in fanatical supplication. His baton hand climbs the pregnant air, lingering in the heavens before plunging from its aerie into the depths of Herr Mozart.

The symphony gives chase, launching into the Austrian’s clever and impassioned strains. Ideas as vapid as time and space are abandoned for this company. One finds himself pondering the moon, contemplating whether or not it will ever again be as beautiful and full as it is on the pages of “a little night music.” Lungs fill with air as intoxicating as was the composer. Science kneels before art and makes way for poetic meanderings. Images are heard, not seen, within countless minds: scenes of ships and of cobbled streets, of settings pastoral and Arcadian. These idylls make their dreamers simultaneously insignificant and of most intricate importance to the universe.

The music grants refrain from parking meters and pink slips. The music celebrates an independence day from caring who was wrong. The music is a pulse, fusing the throngs into a common audience.

Melodies and embellished trills, with their heartrending beauty, urge all present to recall darkened rooms and kisses that tasted of tears. The bittersweet timbre of violas references a T.S. Eliot poem, and in the end the conductor drops his quaking hands as would Prufrock hang his head.

Stillness falls as the last note dies. Applause filters through the Center, but musician and patron alike inwardly grieve the recital’s end. After such an extravagant and striking delicacy, the black bread sustenance of daily life wanes superfluous.

Attempting to return to Columbus Avenue, the audience obscenely gropes its purses and Armani blazers, exiting into the night. They carelessly squander the concerti and serenades for a few minutes, inspiration. An executive is overheard likening the qualities of the fountain to diaphanous nymphs. The urban air electrifies urbane taste buds. In the distance, taxi horns and ambulance sirens sound their own requiem.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Aamna said...
Jun. 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm
this is an amazing piece. Your writing is really descriptive; I could picture everything clearly in my head. Amazing work. Check out my story, Precarious Pursuit
 
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