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

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:10 am

Bella put her score down to take her brother's hand and pull him in.

"Oh come in! We had the most delightful time. Miss Vickery plays very beautifully, and those new tunes are lovely. What have you done to poor Bromwell? I hope you weren't too harsh on him."

Edward rolled his eyes in fond exasperation and cleared the door so that the others could fully enter, coming to stand next to the piano. He bowed slightly.

"I was tasked to present his apologies to you, my dear, and, though unbeknownst, to you, Miss Vickery, as well, for any inconvenience the incident has caused to you."

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:18 am

Willoughby came around, politely keeping his distance of the two ladies, each a sister of one of his friends. He gazed at the instrument that not more than a few moments ago had still been played on. From the side he then observed, without staring, each of them and then again just Bella.

The comparison in his mind had gone again to the dark haired horse with a fairer pelt and he had to mentally reprimind himself for such unfavourable thoughts. Given, he had achieved in bringing his other Bella home along with her calf. A collection of most favourable and fortunate events had seen them both alive and well and her, no longer under the grasp of the 33rd.

With his thoughts back to the present, he averted his gaze from the lady and paused to catch the conversation again and make sense of it.

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:21 am

"Inconvenience, to meet my brother's friends from the war? Utter nonsense - though, pray, do not let him know that!" Emma stood and waited until the gentlemen had all found chairs before sitting again and looking up at Lady Isabella with a delicately arched eyebrow.

"I daresay the gentlemen expect to be entertained. What shall we perform for them?" she enquired, an amused gleam in her grey eyes.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:32 am

Edward tilted his head slightly:

"As it brought me the pleasure of your aquintance, Miss Vickery, I cannot fault your thought. But I will certainly keep the secret."

He retired to a chair, turning it so he could fully enjoy the following.

Bella bit her lower lip, then asked softly:

"Do you know any songs well enough to play without score? Or shall we attempt the part we have played sofar?"

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:39 am

"I know several - I shall make sure to bring my music next time, however, so that we have a larger selection." She thought for a moment. What could they possibly choose?

The sight of her brother and Lord Gwydyr, both in uniform, brought something to mind. "Oh- do you recollect any of the Beggar's Opera, by any chance? Specifically, Over the Hills and Far Away?"

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:47 am

"Yes, of course! But ... we would need a Captain Macheath for that, wouldn't we?"

She glanced at her brother for a moment, but he usually needed some coaxing before he was willing to sing in front of an audience, so she asked:

"Do you think your brother would join us? Or Lord Gwydyr?"

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:53 am

"I do not know if Lord Gwydyr sings, but John does." She glanced across at her brother. "John, would you do us the pleasure of playing Captain MacHeath?"

Vickery glanced across at Torrington before standing to cross to the piano. "For the Rifles' song? Certainly, Emma."

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:57 am

Unwilling to interrupt and speak when not addressed, Willoughby leaned back in his chair, though keeping still from slouching in the most ungraceful manner. He contemplated on the song choices as well as instruments that were strewn about the room. Most others of the smaller kind than the one that was to be played.

He could tell several apart and find a certain family relation with some with their military counterparts. Of course he was yet to spot a drum and doubted there was one.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:09 pm

Bella for a moment worried her lower lip, suddenly a bit shy to sing with her brother's friend, who had in his letters always seemed rather formidable, but Edward gave her an encouraging smile. So she stepped aside to give Vickery some space and bobbed a quaint little curtsy, accompanied by a dimpled smile.

"Then it is your turn to begin, Major."

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

Post  John Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:16 pm

It had been quite a while since the Vickery siblings had performed together but this had always been a favourite of theirs, even before Vickery had joined the 60th. There were, of course, a whole different set of lyrics, more in keeping with the soldiers' trade, but this was the original.

Vickery had a clear, pleasant tenor, which was not heard very often save in surroundings and company such as this, and he clasped his hands behind his back and smiled encouragingly at Lady Isabella.

"Were I laid on Greenland's Coast,
And in my Arms embrac'd my Lass;
Warm amidst eternal Frost,
Too soon the Half Year's Night would pass."

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:24 pm

Willoughby wondered briefly if Vickery would have preferred to ask Bella for a spin at the ball and if perhaps he could refrain from asking even if earlier he had been quite eager and give him that spot instead, should only one be empty. Silence made a man too thoughtful and a hussar quite mad.

He was fortunate at the very least that he could now close his eyes and enjoy the music and that he was not in need of a drink any stronger than coffee, nor to brag for the sake of wearing a hussar's uniform. The music room was pleasant, not too airy, but certainly warm. It had just enough light, a homely, intimate atmosphere where not too many could congregate at the same time.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:45 pm

Bella, delighted, returned the smile. She could not help but be really perform the role of Polly, turning to Vickery, though she refrained from making cow's eyes and let them instead show her pleasure at the creditable performance. When her moment came, she easily picked up the melody and replied:

"Were I sold on Indian Soil,
Soon as the burning Day was clos'd,
I could mock the sultry Toil
When on my Charmer's Breast repos'd."


Than came the duet part and her voice wrapped itself joyfully around Vickery's baseline.

Edward watched them with hooded eyes, quietly content. It was the first time since long that the music room had been used for such a performance. A glance at Gwydyr assured him that there was no need to make conversation with hussar, as the other seemed likewise enthralled by the music - he made a mental note, however, to try to bring him into a normal, non-flustered conversation with Bella. Horses ... that should give them at least some common ground to start from, he thought.

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

Post  John Vickery on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:52 pm

Lady Isabella was an accomplished singer, it appeared and seemed pleased with Vickery's performance. The duet, lines sung alternately by each character, contrasted their voices in a pleasant counterpoint, the likes of which Vickery had not been able to partake of in a long while.

There was something to be said for polite society after all, it seemed.

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:31 pm

At some point in the performance Willoughby opened his eyes and gazed to his left. He observed the light play through the windows. The trees outside reflected keenly the time of year, but there was still leaves on their branches, fluttering in the wind. The light that was cast through the glass panels carried with itself, some of the warmth but certainly not as much as it would have in the summer.

He listened to the song and the melody that accompanied it, casting a glance or two at the performing trio. He observed how delighted Bella was to sing with the rifle's officer, how merrily her eyes twinkled as she performed the duet, her face changing with the lyrics as if she was truly the character whom she lent her voice. He watched Emma, the rise and fall of her shoulders as she kept pace and expressed emotion through the shifts of her weight at the keys.

Then his gaze returned on the nature outside, forming the bond between the music room and the life that was beyond it. This all brought a sense of normality with it and peace. He wondered if what he saw as a mere glimpse, outside, had been a common sparrow or perhaps one of the tits that thought to take a peek at who wished to take over its throne in song. There it was again, and this time he was sure he could recognise the yellow and more yellowgreen and black colour and a patch of white of its coat.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:16 pm

There was nothing better than making music with friends, Bella decided. When the song ended, she felt rather sorry for it, but she brightened up when she recalled that as they were friends now, at least she and Emma would have more occassions to play together.

For now, however, her mother had her better trained than to seek only her own pleasure or to neglect one guest for another; so after thanking Vickery with a very pretty compliment for his performance and assuring Emma that she had hit on just the right song and had played the instrumental part perfectly with such an open smile that there was no mistaking her honesty, she danced over to where Willoughby was seated, and stretched her hand out invitingly.

"Will you join us for a song, too, Mylord?"

--------

After clapping appreciatively, Edward meanwhile quietly ordered tea for the singers' parched throats, then moved to the piano again.

"A very fine performance", he commended.

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 pm

The great tit flew away at just about the same moment as the music stopped so that it gave Willoughby at least a small warning.He was mid-turn when rather much closer than before, Torrington's sister appeared. His cheeks coloured a little, for which he was quite annoyed with himself. It did not help that he felt warmth rise to his face as if a warm breeze had just entered the room. He straightened slightly, buying himself a little time.

"..I am not quite sure I know many lyrics of the songs you sing here.." He began apologetically, not trusting himself to sing just yet, not when it would clearly have resulted in the lack of breath at a moment he would need it least. He needed some more time to properly warm himself up to the idea of singing before his peers and more so, the ladies.

"But... " He repriminded himself for not leaving it at the excuse, which was not half bad: ".. should you have a violin, I could try my hand at that.." Upon the quickest inspection of the room earlier, he did not remember seeing the instrument. "I must warn you though... I have had less practice with the instrument than I would have liked..."

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:23 am

Bella's face fell.

"I don't know ... I don't think so - and if one is here somewhere, it would probably be in a bad shape, wouldn't it?"

She looked rather dejected at not being able to provide an instrument for Willoughby.

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:39 am

"Well, I would not think it would be in a bad shape. I have seen the instruments you have, and have not seen reason to think that they were poorly treated." Willoughby hastened to say. He was on his feet before he realised that he had stood up and looked equally apologetic.

"It is alright though, Lady Isabella." He straightened a little. He had abandoned his seating and could not merely fall back into it in such quick succession.
"..should you not have it I could play something for you another time." He smiled politely. "When I have dusted my own violin and perhaps after more practice with it. It would only be right after such a splendid performance as you have given us."

He hesitated again, surprised that he had not gone on a tangent of a much longer, less understandable response: "What would you like to have me do now, then?.." It was an offer he should have thought twice, before giving.

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:12 am

Emma looked up as Torrington approached the piano, turning in her seat and folding her hands in her lap. Vickery stepped back to give him room.

"Thank you," she said, in response to his appreciation of their performance. "Did you wish me to play something for you, my lord?" she added, wondering what piece of music he might request of her.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:01 am

Bella laughed:

"Promise that you will bring your violin the next time you visit, of course! And not to take it as a reason not to come visiting!"

As the butler appeared with the tea tray at this moment, she held out a hand coaxingly.

"Come! As hostess, I have to pour out the tea. Won't you take the first cup? And tell me some horrible story about my brother? He never does, so I'm running out of things to tease him with if you don't take pity on me!"

------------

Edward looked at her for a moment, indescision and a certain amount of shyness in his eyes, but then he seemed to decide on a course of action, and followed it without further qualms. He took the Beethoven folio, leafed through it and pulled out a couple of sheets.

"If you find it impudent of me, then say so and I will apologize on my knees, but if it would give you pleasure to perform it, I would very much like to hear you play this."

It was the Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio, the "Rage over the Lost Penny".

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:12 am

Willoughby obediently followed, not needing to be told twice to head for the table where tea would be placed. "I will bring my violin the next time, should I still be allowed to come." He answered softly, relieved that he might not make a fool of himself in front of her just yet.

"I must disappoint you but I cannot speak of a horrific story that relates to your brother. Should I dare, I would most certainly be prevented, forbidden from coming again... and it would be a pity." He gazed at the steam that still came from the teapot, studying the ornamented plates and cups made of fine porcelain.

"You sang beautifully." He spoke the compliment softly and somewhat more quietly. "Compliments."

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:18 am

"Certainly, although I am no virtuosa, sir. I shall, however, attempt to make as few mistakes as possible." She smiled up at him. "Please do not expect a flawless performance, although I shall do my best."

She placed her hands lightly on the keys again.

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

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:50 am

Bella handed him a cup and saucer.

"Thank you. It's my only accomplishment. I'm glad you liked it - I know that gentlemen often have to listen to too much young females singing to find it enjoyable still."

For a moment the whirlwind was gone and she sounded quite serious and older. Then she dimpled again.

"Oh, will you come to Lady Caroline's ball tonight? Then you can tell me all the horrid stories there! And if you promise to pay me as nice a compliment for my dancing as for my singing, I will even safe a dance for you!"

----

"I will not enjoy a performance less for a few mistakes, as long as it is not soulless - which yours will never be. So please don't feel you have to apologize - especially since I am perfectly aware how hard the piece is that I'm asking you to play."

Edward arranged the sheets for her with an air of supressed excitement - he really seemed to look forward to hear the piece - but when Emma placed her fingers on the keys, he heard the tea cups clatter, recollected his manners for a moment and lightly put a hand on her arm to stop her.

"Forgive me. Can I get you a cup of tea first? You have been playing for quite some time now, and I know it is not as easy as you make it look."

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

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:58 am

Willoughby took the cup to his lips, but at the very last moment realised how hot the water was still. He lowered it instead and lowered it to the table to have it cool down there.

Though he heard her say the second, which brought him to the topic he needed to discuss with her still, he chose to postpone the inquiry for just a few sentences more. " There are many ladies that sing, yes, but they are..hardly able to compare to someone as accomplished and engaged as yourself."

He lowered his gaze to his cup again, and then braving himself and this time trying not to sound like he had just read the whole of the books on words and wanted to use each and every synonym mentioned there:" ...The subject you bring up of the ball.." He began but quickly halted himself. "I had hoped that you would save a dance for me should your card not be fully booked." He gazed at her. "I promise to avoid stepping on feet, even if tempted and to dance as I ride.." His cheeks coloured a little. "With grace. " He finished and took a gulp of tea, nearly scalding himself.

After a few moments he added more composed. "And yes. I do mean to come to the ball. "

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

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:06 am

"Why, thank you. And such a compliment, sir. I must own to practising every morning before breakfast or I am afraid I should make a sad fist of it. Although to practise is no real hardship - after all, when one's enjoyment lies in something, it is easier to get through the worst patches and improve when practising that thing, is it not?"

She accepted the offered cup of tea. "Do you sing, or play an instrument at all, my lord?"

Such a well-appointed music room as this must surely belong to someone who enjoyed producing music as well as listening to it, after all.

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

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