The conductor bows, turns to face the orchestra, and raises his baton. At the first strain of the Firebird Suite I am swept up by the aggressive and lyrical movements portraying the luminous firebird, the prince, and the beautiful Elena.
Next, the orchestra performs a symphony followed by their final piece, the Russian Easter Overture, inspired by the passion of Christ as told in the Gospels.
I watch black clad musicians seated in chairs, their quick finger movements creating warbles and wails from tiny piccolos. Throaty, beseeching sounds from the trombones, and a brilliance of color from clarinets and saxophones, oboes and bassoons waft through the auditorium. A minor key evokes the somber crucifixion scene.
Percussionists stand behind the euphoniums and tubas. Their parts are intermittent but elicit great emotion. The rhythmic, boom of the tympani spreads to the other instruments, echoing the uninhibited rejoicing at the resurrection of Christ.
While other musicians puff into mouthpieces or send lithe fingers over keys and tiny holes, one musician seems idle. He waits, never taking his eyes off the score in front of him, turning page after page but never producing any sound from his instrument.
The music builds to a crescendo. The piece is nearly finished and the musician still waits. Then high in the air he raises up two round metal pieces, thrusting them together with a loud, resonating crash. My heart surges. He opens his arms wide with the cymbals facing the rapt audience and lets the sound slowly dissipate. The music concludes, the sound of the cymbals continuing to echo in my heart and mind.
One instrument of many in the orchestra of life. A moment in time. A purpose fulfilled.
Let it resound to the nations. Let it resound for all to hear.
He is risen! One purpose fulfilled. For all mankind.
One day all instruments will resound in praise to God on high!