Symphonic Masterpieces

Symphonic Masterpieces

Symphonic Masterpieces

Symphonic Masterpieces

Excerpt

I like to remember the first time I heard an orchestra.

How could I forget? This took place on a winter afternoon in New York City, when I, fifteen years of age, had trudged shivering through the snow to take a lesson at Mrs. Jeannette M. Thurber's National Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory was an old building downtown, one which impressed me as having been converted from a private house to educational uses. It had in my eyes, at any rate, a fine gloom and a warm hospitality. I can never forget what happened when I reached this haven. The door, closing behind me, shut out the whine of the wind and instantaneously replaced this sound with another which fell on my ears as wondrous transmutation of the music of the elements. It was the sound of an orchestra. I know now what was being played. It was the beautiful second theme of Beethoven's early and Mozartian piano concerto in C major. But the effect of violins singing that theme over the stormy splendor . . .

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