fight for your rite – part III

with the los angeles skyline slowly receding over the horizon in the rearview mirror, monday night’s crowd returned from intermission for a bedtime story.  dvořák’s nocturne for string orchestra was the only selection on this final program offering musical warmth and security – a brief respite during an evening of floating coffins, mobsters, and human sacrifice.  we all knew this lullaby was bullshit, though… stravinsky’s barbaric tour de force was just 10 minutes away.  it was as though maestro carlos was collectively tucking us in for the night, whispering softly in the most creepy austrian accent he could muster: don’t let ze bedbugs biteh.  besides, this audience had already proven itself much too restless and fidgety for a quiet serenade.

but then it happened.  with humble violins, violas, cellos, and double basses, an undersized tribe of musicians (led by chief iwasaki) gathered onstage and offered the kind of uncomplicated tenderness that only antonín dvořák could compose.  the final minute of this work is pure heaven – an extended softness that managed to hold 2,600 folks in hushed rapture.  as the band held still bows against strings, motionless, the final notes of the nocturne were allowed to simply evaporate before us.  the beaver was breathless, slack-jawed, immensely grateful for the final silence of the season.

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