"To Mrs Porter's establishment - a Home away from Home for Homeless Gentlemen - comes Thomas Dalton, recently and reluctantly returning to the community. Dalton is intent on a fresh start. So is Miss Emily Vales, fellow lodger, and recipient of Mrs Porter's tea-leaves predictions...
"Across the park from Dalton's cold, bleak room is the large, overdraped house of his childhood, where now another Consul's family lives. Intrigued and well-meaning, they welcome him into the house, unaware of Dalton's past links - and his yearnings."
Sometimes during concerts he thought that, in the expression in the eyes of the conductor, he could see the reflection of the exquisite moment of perfection and of satisfaction achieved privately between the conductor and the musician concerned in the performance of the particular little phrase of the music. Especially this was so when the little phrase was played by itself and then, with matching notes, perhaps from the piano. For example, the pianist in musical communication with the flautist, the conductor, watchful, leading them together in readiness for the awaited satisfying invasion of the whole orchestra which would bring about the ultimate, the climax.
The movement of the shoulders, the head and the delicate hands - the whole body of the conductor involved completely with the creation of the music, together with the penetrating gaze of concentration, would bring about the awaited desired result and immediately soften the sharp glance to a caressing look of tenderness and deference. A look which was full of admiration and respect, a perfect understanding of love and gratitude passing between conductor and musician. The whole ensemble, then, breaking the precarious silent homage to the moment, would, with their energy and restrained precision, enter the performance once more.
He is, of course, excluded from all this as he no longer takes part (singing) and, in any case, does not go to concerts. He simply has the music in his heart and his mind.
From the Viking hardback edition, 1997.
This page and its contents are copyright © 1998-2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Elizabeth Jolley Page.
Last modified: March 25, 2001.