Part 7 — A Pianola
DELIUS : A pianola what?
ELGAR : In the attic, a pianola.
JELKA : A pianola? I do not understand.
DELIUS ( To Jelka ) : Ein speilen klavier, ja? Mit pedal? Pedal treten und musikâ€¦
Jelka cuts in.
JELKA : What the Americans call a player-piano, I know that.
DELIUS : Mein Gott. Do go on, Edward.
ELGAR : Well as I start to approach the pianola an elderly woman enters the room, sits at the instrument and lifts the lid. I can clearly see the makers name â€“ Concertola, Birmingham, England. The elderly woman then starts to pedal and I can see the white piano roll begin to move upwards. And do you know as soon as the music started the dust that had covered the pianola vanished, and the wood shone as if newly polished, and sunlight poured into the attic from what had appeared to be a covered window, and the music rose and rose in volume. And then, standing in the sunlight, is a young woman in a bright pink dress, and in her hair a pink ribbon, and she is looking at meâ€¦
Yehudi Menuhin with Elgar
The lights go down, and a spot picks out Elgar, and another spot picks out a young woman in pink. We hear a piano version of Elgar’s â€˜In Smyrnaâ€™â€¦
WOMAN : Hello, Edward.
ELGAR : Whoâ€¦?
WOMAN : Donâ€™t you remember me?
ELGAR : Should I?
WOMAN : No, but I remember you. Along the banks of the Severn, always talking about music, about poetry, especially Shakespeare. And your fatherâ€™s lovely shop, full of shining instruments and the latest music from all over the world, and the way the bell used to ring when someone opened the door and how one could smell freshly baked bread from the bakery next to my fatherâ€™s shoe shop?
ELGAR : Yes.
WOMAN : You told me you loved me that day it rained and we took shelter in that barn, do you remember?
ELGAR : I remember the rainâ€¦
WOMAN : Edward! Why do you always tease me so?
ELGAR : I remember.
WOMAN : And you kissed me.
ELGAR : I did?
WOMAN : You did, and wanted more.
ELGAR : My Saxon warrior blood â€“ Aelfgar. I expect you refused me?
WOMAN : I did not.
ELGAR : I know. And the rain turned to sun, and that most beautiful of smells â€“ of wet earth, and of youâ€¦
WOMAN : Of us.
ELGAR : Of us.
WOMAN : We were young.
ELGAR : Indeed. I remember you now.
WOMAN : I know.
ELGAR : Is this a dream?
WOMAN : Not at the moment, but when you wake.
ELGAR : When I wake. Do I have to wake?
WOMAN : No, you can stay here with me, if you wish.
ELGAR : And after the rain?
WOMAN : Oh, we walked alongside the river for a while, I remember you sang to a swan – A Salut dâ€™Amour – a lovely song. You said it was for me. But you gave it to another.
ELGAR : My swan. Do you mind?
WOMAN : Not now.
ELGAR : I read Walt Whitman to you.
WOMAN : Yes. We sat amongst some reeds.
ELGAR : God and eidolons
And thee my soul,
Joys, ceaseless exercises, exaltations,
Thy yearning amply fed at last, prepared to meet,
Thy mates, eidolons.
Thy body permanent,
The body lurkingâ€¦
WOMAN : There within thy body,
The only purport of the form thou artâ€¦
ELGAR : The real one myselfâ€¦
WOMAN : An image, an eidolon.
Thy very songs not in thy songs,
No special strains to sing, none for itself.
ELGAR : But from the whole resultingâ€¦
WOMAN & ELGAR : rising at last and floatingâ€¦
ELGAR : Wish Iâ€™d met himâ€¦
WOMAN : Edward?
ELGAR : Yes?
WOMAN : Why did you let me go?
ELGAR : But you were ill, my dear.
WOMAN : No, not ill.
ELGAR : But they said you had to leave, consumption, that you neededâ€¦
WOMAN : Not ill, Edward, do you not understand.
EDWARD : Not sure. It was very sudden, and so far away.
WOMAN : Oh, Edward, can you not see?
ELGAR : I see you now, that day in the rain. I feel you now that day in the rain. I am with you now that day in the rain, we are together now that day in the rainâ€¦
WOMAN : Oh Edward, my darling Edward, do you not see me now?
ELGAR : And she was gone.
Lights down to black. The music fadesâ€¦
Go to Part 8.