Showing determination and courage, the concertmaster performed his final task at the workplace in the face of hostility, ridicule, and intense pain. The violin solos soared above the adversaries and battlefield with imperturbable dignity and strength. Richard Strauss himself might have recognized the pure Romantic style of those violin solos. From where did this strength arise?
The wife sat in the audience, defiant. She would speak to the conductor once more. How dare you, she would say. After the concert finished, she picked up her belongings and strode to the conductor's dressing room. By the way, it was not lost on her that the conductor's wife pretended not to see, not to know, not to hear. Hadn't they been on friendly terms for a good many years? By the time the concertmaster's wife found the conductor, she screamed (but quasi sotto voce) at the doorway: Why? Why? What more do you want? No answer, just a shrug from the conductor.
She added: He's in a different league, my husband, from all of you—and the door was shut like a slap in the face.
A few magic moments later, when the conductor emerged from his dressing room, it wasn't unnoticed that he gave a smile and nod to a female violinist, as if to say: Done deal. The concertmaster is out of the way now.
Illustration Dover Publications