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London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

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London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Marashar on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:36 am

[Emma and Bella have escaped from here.]

Bella meanwhile had led her guest to a large sunny room overlooking the gardens.

It was decorated in a style that was long enough out of fashion do have made the transition from outmoded to charmingly antiquated, with baroque plasterwork, gold and false marble set off by mirrors and Trompe-l'œil landscapes. Low shelves and glass armoires held a sortiment of sheet music, a collection of ebony and cherry wood flutes and busts of composers, before the windows a couch and matching chairs were arranged around an ornate table with a floral porcelaine centerpiece, and a cembalo and the already mentioned harp were set in pride of place on a small dais.

The whole room presented a very pretty picture, but it was clear that Edward had inherited it that way and not made any changes since. The only part of it that looked properly in use was the grand piano set into the middle (clearly a later addition and severly cutting down the number of people who could be asked to enjoy musical performances in here) and a solid stand and chair next to it. On the polished wood of the piano sat a flat parcel.
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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:51 am

"What a lovely room," Emma said, looking around her. It was a little old-fashioned for her tastes, but that was understandable - hadn't Lord Torrington said that this had previously been his grandmother's London house?

"May I?" she asked, crossing to the piano and and resting her hand lightly on the lid. "Oh - these must be your new songs," she added, looking at the neatly-wrapped package on the top of the piano.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:38 am

"Yes, please!"

Bella hurried to open the instrument and whisk the cover over the ivory keys away, then pulled out the stool for Emma.

"Would you like to play something from these new sheets? Or can I find you some other piece? We have quite a selection of older pieces, and whatever takes my brother's fancy, but I'm afraid most of the more common airs I have only at home."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:45 am

Emma smiled. "I shall let you look over your new music while I try something to get the feel for your instrument. I fancy I know what, as well. Do you have Beethoven's Für Elise, by any chance? I can play from memory, if you do not - it is only very short, after all."

She smoothed her gown and sat, running her fingers lightly over the keys. "It is a beautiful instrument," she added, looking up.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:28 pm

Bella dimpled.

"Oh, yes, it is! My grandmother bought it so we could play for her here - she always said it is much easier to learn if you have a nice instrument."

Dancing to a bookcase, she pulled out a portfolio bound in Venitian paper.

"Here - you are in luck. My brother is quite an admirer of Herr Beethoven and has all his piano pieces."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:35 pm

"Thank you," Emma said, selecting the piece and putting it on the music stand. It was quite a gentle piece that showed, if not a piano's full range, a good part of it - and the skill of the player also.

She played well; she practised every morning, after all, and despite having the music in front of her, she played from memory, her touch light but sure.

___
(Für Elise)

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:02 am

Bella sat down on the sofa, her new music in her lap, but she didn't leaf through it, listening to her new friend play instead with real delight. When Emma was finished, she clapped her hands.

"You play so beautifully! And it it is such a nice piece, isn't it? I always wondered for whom he has written it. It must be a lovely lady ... and he must have had a high regard for her."

She looked dreamily at the elegant title with its dedication.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:30 am

"Thank you," Emma said, turning on the piano stool and folding her hands in her lap. "I think she must have been a very special friend, to have such a delightful tune written for her."

She indicated the music in Bella's lap. "I should dearly like to hear you sing. What should you like me to play for you?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:39 am

Bella blushed a bit.

"Oh, do you really want to hear me stumble through them? I haven't practiced them yet!"

She looked longingly at one piece, though, variations about an Italian folk song. She had heard it at a recital and knew it was a charming piece, where voice and piano conversed lively with each other and the progressively more elaborate variations allowed both musicians to show the full scope of their talents. It would be a joy to practice such a piece with a good piano player.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:43 am

"Oh, I am used to practising myself, I know what it is like to play a piece for the first time," Emma said. "Would it not be easier for you to have someone to play while you try it out for the first time?"

She held her hand out encouragingly for the piece that her new friend was looking over.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:52 am

Bella smiled a bit abashed at being caught out, but handed the sheet over readily, helping Emma to arrange them on the piano.

"Here - do you have enough light?"

She took her own score to stand to the side of the piano and sang out a few scales to warm up her voice a bit.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:10 am

"Yes, thank you," Emma said, looking the music over as Bella sang her scales, to familiarise herself a little with the score before she began playing.

"When you are ready?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:34 am

Bella took a deep breath, gripped her sheet tighter and rightened her posture, then nodded to Emma to begin with the introduction.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:00 am

Emma laid her fingers on the keys to begin. She was not at her best when sight reading but was skilled enough that she knew to ignore any mistakes she might make and keep on playing, to get an idea of what the piece should sound like. She could work on the weaker parts later on.

This was a little different; playing for a singer who was also seeing the piece for the first time. She did not know how Bella reacted to mistakes, and was more than happy to take her cues from the other lady.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:25 am

Bella seemed to be quite used to being accompanied with slight mistakes (she had often made music with people who produced them even after practice) and made a fair share of her own. She had a fair and well-trained voice, enough grasp of the Italian to manage the lyrics with only occassional stumbles, and enough familarity with the tune to manage the theme and the first, only slightly ornamented variation (more a second stanza) without having to call for a halt. When the stanza ended, she smiled at Emma, quite happy with their acccomplishement and checking whether her guest was tiring of the sport, wished to go on or perhaps return to the previous bit to practice it in earnest.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:32 am

"You sing very well," Emma said. "Should you like to finish the piece? I think I will make fewer mistakes, I have a fair grasp of the tune now."

If either family were to hold a musical soiree, Emma thought that she and Bella could put on quite a creditable performance together.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:11 am

"Thank you, Emma! You are most kind - it was your skilled accomplishment that allowed me to show to advantage. If you don't mind, shall we go on, even if I stumble? I would like to hear how the next part sounds."

Bella secretly hoped for the same thing - it was a joy to sing with a competent piano player, and if she knew she and her partner could present a delightful piece well, she quite enjoyed performing for others.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:23 am

"I shall not declare that to be rank nonsense - you are a perfectly talented singer, which is nothing to do with my playing. Let us go on - I should like to hear how it sounds, also." She smiled and turned back to the piano.


"Do you think, we might practice this and perform it together sometime? If your mother does not wish to hold a musical soiree, I feel sure Lady Saltash would be willing to do so, after all."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:44 am

"That would be an excellent idea!"

Bella beamed.

"It is so nice to perform something well with a friend. Mama will certainly wish to hear us, too! I would love to properly practice it with you."

She was not sure whether she should say that her mother would be willing to give a soiree as well or whether it was more appropriate to let Lady Saltash go first now that Emma had mentioned her, so she decided to leave that bit for now and offered instead:

"We have a pianoforte at home as well, if you would like to go there, or we can practice here - Edward doesn't mind, I'm sure - if you think that your brother would accompany you."


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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:01 am

"Oh, I am sure my brother would be more than happy to accompany me here - after all, your brother is one of his closest friends from Spain. And you are more than welcome to come to Saltash House, should you wish to, and should your brother be amenable to it."

She laid her fingers on the keys again. "Shall we go on, then?"

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:17 am

"Yes, please! The second variation?"

Bella found her place in her score, straightened and waited for Emma to begin.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:18 am

"Certainly," Emma said, finding the place and beginning to play.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:34 am

They made it successfully through two more variations and had just ended the third, a charming one where the theme lay in the deep piano notes and Bella sang a joyful counterpoint, when the door of the room opened and her brother's head appeared.

"May we join you? Bromwell has left already."

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:53 am

The tune accompanied them all through the hall, past several other doors, only becoming stronger and louder as they approached the antiqued music room. Willoughby entered after Torrington, still enjoying the last notes of song and play. The ladies had done an impressive introduction of their talents. Bella's voice was pleasant, melodic and certainly one that Willoughby would not have minded hearing more, had Torrington not interrupted them. Emma on the other hand had made the music flow easily from the instrument as her fingers danced across the black and white keys.

He inclined his head in greeting of each of the girls, a polite and well controlled motion, followed by a pleasant smile.

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Re: London, 3rd October, 1814: A little light Music

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:55 am

"I have no objections, sir, but as your sister is the hostess, I shall defer to her judgement," Emma said, turning a little to see Torrington looking round the door, followed by Lord Gwydyr and then her brother.

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