The humidly high 80’s temperature outside brings us into a relatively cool St. Michael’s church for a casual six-piece string orchestra concert. St. Michael’s is on the touristy pedestrian street a block away from our apartment. I understand that this is a common attraction meant to have a spontaneous quality but is well rehearsed. It doesn’t matter to me. I feel good in my feminine pink gauzy dress, the dangly sparkly earrings (a souvenir from a past Eastern Europe adventure), pretty flat sandals, my hair clipped up in a wooden barrette (Prague memento), and lightly spritzed with my favorite perfume.
St. Michael’s is a church with 14 rows of hard wooden pews (I can’t put my feet flat on the ground because the kneelers are in the way) separated by one aisle and has the atmosphere of a small cathedral with its frescoed domes and high ceilings. The body of the church is dimly lit with electric candelabras and one lone prayer candle. The altar is well illuminated and is appropriately ornate.
The six musicians appear promptly at seven, dressed informally in black as they tuck their violins/violas under their chins, or prop the cello/bass against their shoulders. I watch their bodies flow into the music and their instruments as they begin to play the lively music of Mozart, Liszt, then Vivaldi (at which point the sextuplet becomes a group of seven). Their fingers occasionally pluck but mostly press while the right arms are sliding their bows and are perfectly synchronized forming the upbeat classical music. The acoustics are beautiful. I find it difficult to stay still and I notice Chris fingers are moving as my body slightly sways; I can’t help but to smile at various points of recognition in the music.
In a short hour, the music stops, there is applause, and we step out into the lightly breezy dusk and watch from a bench as the musicians finally emerge. They talk briefly….double cheek kiss….and separate into the Budapest evening.