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October 28 , 2010

Star-Dust

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Overview

When Lilly Becker eked out with one hand that most indomitable of pianoforte selections, Rubinstein's "Melody in F," her young mind had a habit of transcending itself into some such illusory realm as this: Springtime seen lacily through a phantasmagoria of song. A very floral sward. Fountains that tossed up coloratura bubbles of sheerest aria and a sort of Greek frieze of youth attitudinized toward herself. This frieze was almost invariably composed of Estelle Foote, a successful rival in a class candidacy for the sponge-and-basin monitorship; Sydney Prothero, infallible of spitball aim; Miss Lare with her spectacles very low on her nose and a powdering of chalk dust down her black alpaca; Flora Kemble with infinitely fewer friendship bangles on her silver link bracelet; Roy Kemble, kissing her yellow, rather than yanking her brown, braids. And then suddenly, apropos of nothing except the sweet ache of Lilly's little soul, the second movement would freeze itself into a proscenium arch of music, herself, like a stalagmite, its slim center


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