The Maestro's Mistress

The Maestro's Mistress by Angela Dracup

Book: The Maestro's Mistress by Angela Dracup Read Free Book Online
Authors: Angela Dracup
violin sonata in A major, the paper well thumbed and pencilled
all over with handwritten comments and directions. Xavier flicked over the
sheets. ‘This piece can be played in so many different ways,’ he mused. ‘A
truly astonishing work.’
    ‘I used to play it with my
father,’ Tara said. ‘He took the piano part and I wrestled with the rest!’
    ‘You know this first movement
takes a gigantic hand to play the piano part,’ Xavier commented. ‘Look at
this!’ He played a chord, his long fingers just spanning the notes.
    ‘Yes, Franck must have been a
huge chap,’ she chuckled.
    Xavier seated himself at the
piano and played the soft opening piano introduction.
    Tara felt a shiver of pure
ecstasy creep over the bones of her shoulders and raise the hairs at the back
of her neck. Without conscious thought or intent she took up her violin. Over
Xavier’s shoulder her eyes followed the score, watching for the entry of the violin.
    ‘Now!’ he commanded softly,
giving a brief nod to bring her in with the violin’s first wistful pensive
    Tara drew her bow across the
strings. Now the theme passed from his hands to hers, the melody gaining in
pace and assertiveness. Soon the piano took over again, Xavier making the music
ride boldly along on light chords. Tara hummed when she wasn’t playing, keeping
the rhythm flowing through her mind, whilst at the same time her eyes glanced down
at Xavier’s flying fingers; fascinated, admiring and awed.
    ‘Do you want me to go on with
this?’ he enquired, pausing.
    ‘Yes, but don’t listen to my
pathetic attempts!’
    After they had negotiated the
climax of the first movement Xavier said evenly, ‘I liked the way you played
that. Moving things along, not too reverential. That’s good. Shall we go on?’
    Without waiting for a reply he
was plunging into the next section. ‘This should be played very fast,’ he said,
‘a terrible task for the pianist. I don’t know how I’ll manage without a page
turner. You will have to be patient.’
    Tara came in once more, the
violin beginning on the G-string. ‘Lots of agitation and passion,’ Xavier
decreed, making the piano thunder.
    ‘I don’t know if I’m gutsy enough
for this bit,’ Tara gasped.
    She lost him a few bars later. He
stopped. ‘Should I have slackened the pace there?  Did I gallop off?’ He
flicked the pages back.
    ‘No, I got lost,’ Tara confessed
smiling, her confidence flowering by the second.
    They tried again. Stayed
together. Pure happiness began to steal over her as she concentrated on the
wonderful task of playing great music with a like-minded and great musician.
Playing together like this, the gap in age and experience between them was
stripped away. They were on the same wavelength. There was some exciting collective
energy being generated between them – a golden thread binding them together in
the music.
    The last movement had always
struck Tara as intensely touching and as she played she felt her heart merge
into the music. All sensations of apprehension, of being put to the test, had
left her now. Playing with Xavier she felt no anxiety, no competitiveness; she
was able to play without restraint from the very depths of her being. And that
must be about the most seductive thing on earth she thought, as the last piano
trill rang out and the piece finally came to a close with one long note from
her violin.
    She gave a long sigh. Sweat oozed
out of her from the sheer physical effort she had expended. ‘Not only a maestro
but a virtuoso,’ she told him. ‘You were fantastic!’
    ‘And you were extremely gutsy,’
he commented, spinning round on the stool and shooting her a glance which sent
a bolt of electric feeling through her body.
    ‘Playing music,’ she said,
closing her eyes. ‘That’s all I want to do now. That’s all there is, really.’
    ‘Really?’ He watched her very
    ‘And I’ve blown it,’ she mourned.
    ‘Maybe not,’ he told her

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