His arms lifted in the sky and held though suspended from the clouds. With each delicate flip of his wrist, the cellos and brass sounded their thunder while the violins were spinning their own tale. Up and down their bows went in tandem with his arms. The conductor fiercely thrashed the air in front of him and with the new movement, began hugging the empty space.
With my fur wrapped around my shoulders, I found myself seated that Saturday to hear my favorite symphony performed live.
My interest was piqued thanks to my mother who purchased me a vintage symphony hardback book when I was younger. Unlike most teenagers, I was keenly interested in symphonic melodies over binge drinking. Yet the moment Scheherazade in Old English font landed for my eyes, I was mesmerized.
Arabian Nights (the stories) has a tale of a young girl named Scheherazade who, to avoid her death from the angry king, spun a story each night. In anticipation for the ending, the king did not behead her until she would finish the story. One thousand and one nights later, she ran out of stories and the king realized he loved her and made her his queen.
As romantic as beheading sounds, I was instantly wooed by the story (which proved the power of words) and wanted to hearthe symphony!
In the days before iTunes, I searched high and low for a copy of the Russian masterpiece. (How fitting that a Russian composer was the one to weave the story to music) Once my hands grasped the 45 minute symphony, my ears melted to the iconic melody floating above the brass line demanding Scheherazade’s head.
Yet at 25 years of age, I still had not heard the piece live.
Until one Saturday that changed everything.
Robbie and I shuffled to our seats, grins on both of our faces. Peering behind my program, I spied on the audience and resolved we were by far the youngest in attendance. By 50 years.
Within the first 10 seconds of Scheherazade’s beginning, tears were streaming down my face.
My eyes were closed as the sweet violin delved out an evening story.
There is truly nothing like a symphony to take your breath away. There is power in music whether one believes it or not. I pictured life past and present; the time that has passed from thousands of years ago danced in my mind while my lips pursed in anticipation for the future symphonies I will attend.
Sitting there while the conductor’s arms flapped wildly, I found myself in love in a Russian romance.
I may have lost my heart, but I kept my head.