Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Phantom Serenade, by Dvorak

This month we're at an outdoor concert. We've all gathered on the grass in the warm evening air, throwing down blankets and opening our picnic baskets as the sun slowly sets. Conversation goes happily back and forth over cornichons, marinated olives, cold roast chicken, potato salad, and fresh fruit. It's a lovely evening, and at times we feel like something in a painting by John Singer Sargent, or Thomas Wilmer Dewing. We've just finished off the cold cherry clafouti and started in on the champagne as the orchestra files in and after a few words from the conductor, the concert begins...

After the piece ends, there's some buzz in our group. One person saw some white-clad figures dancing in the grass nearby that vanished as soon as he glanced away and looked back. A young lady saw a shifty-looking man handing a small briefcase over to someone who seemed very nervous. One gentleman in our group has to assist a lady sitting nearby, who's suddenly faint and needs to be taken away...and we later learn she suffered a massive blood loss during the concert, without a drop to be seen. And we saw an elderly gentleman who seemed to have fallen asleep...only when we approached him after it was over, we found the knife-handle protruding from his chest.

Amazing, the adventures that can spring from an evening out!

(I've rather been in love with the idea of idyllic outdoor concerts lately. The photo at the top is from a concert at the Hagerstown City Park, near where I grew up, and the art in the videos is by Juan Gris. And if anyone wants to write an extension of this evening's adventures, I'd love to see it!)

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