The protagonist, sitting in a cafe and listening, in his opinion, the ugly music of a local orchestra, gets acquainted with a mysterious person. He agrees to drink with him, having previously learned, not whether he is a Berliner or whether he composes music. The protagonist negatively answers the first question, on the second he notices that he has a superficial musical education and himself wrote once, but he considers all his attempts to be unsuccessful.
The unknown goes to the musicians. After some time, the orchestra played the overture “Iphigenia in Aulis”. The familiar at this moment is transformed: “I had a Kapellmeister in front of me.” After the performance, he admits that “the Orchestra was holding on!”. The protagonist suggests a new
When he has finished, he shares his main idea with the understanding of the musician’s destiny: “Can you even enumerate the ways you come to composing music?” It’s a broad roadway, and everyone who is not lazy bustles about and yells triumphantly: “We are dedicated!” in the realm of dreams come through the gate of ivory, few are allowed to see these gates, even less – to join them! Strange visions flash here and there, it is difficult to escape from this kingdom, the way is blocked by monsters. But only a few, awakening from their dreams, rise up and after passing through the realm of dreams, reach the truth. This is the top… “.
He talks about his own way, how he got into the realm of dreams, how he was tormented by sorrows and fears; but he saw a ray of light in this realm, woke up and saw “a huge bright eye.” Divine melodies poured out; an eye helped him to cope with melodies and promised to help him: “once again you will see me, and my melodies will be yours.”
This time it comes to art and attitude to it. The acquaintance states that he is doomed to “wander here in the void”; the main character is surprised that in Berlin, full of talent, with the audience applauding these talents, his familiar composer is lonely.
The answer of the acquaintance is this: “Well, they only know that they are crumbling.” They go into unnecessary subtleties, they turn everything upside-down, only to dig out at least one miserable little thought. “For talking about art, about the love of art, and still not having time to do anything about get to the art itself, and if they accidentally resolve with two or three thoughts, then from the concoction it will chill through the chill, showing how far away they are from the sun… “
The protagonist claims that the creations of Gluck in Berlin are treated with due respect. The acquaintance claims the opposite: once he wanted to listen to the production of “Iphigenia in Tauris”; he came to the theater and heard the overture from “Iphigenia in Aulis.” He thought that today they are putting another Iphigenia. To his surprise, followed by “Iphigenia in Tauris”!
“Meanwhile, these works are divided for twenty years, the entire effect, the entire strictly thought-out exposition of the tragedy is finally lost.”
He again runs away from the main character.
A few months later, while walking past the theater, where they gave the “Armida” Gluck, at the very windows, the main character notices his friend. He curses the production, the actors, who are late, entering early and asks if the hero wants to listen to the real “Armida”? After the affirmative answer, the mysterious man leads him to his home.
Nothing inconspicuous house, darkness in it, groping along; the stranger brings a candle. In the middle of the room there is a small piano, yellowed note paper, an inkwell covered with cobwebs.
In the corner of the room is a closet, a stranger approaches and takes out the musical score of “Armida” from there, while the main character notices in the cabinet all the works of Gluck.
The stranger says that he will play the overture, but asks the hero to turn over the sheets. The stranger plays magnificently, bringing ingenious innovations and changes. When the overture was over, the stranger, without any strength, closed his eyes, leaned back in his chair, but almost immediately straightened himself again, and frantically leafed through a few blank pages, said in a deaf voice: “All this, sir, I wrote when I broke out of the realm of dreams. But I opened the sacred to the uninitiated, and an ice hand dug into my burning heart! It did not break, I was doomed to wander among the uninitiated, like a spirit torn from the body, deprived of an image, so that no one recognized me until the sunflower lifted me again to the eternal! “
After that he perfectly performs the final scene of “Armida”.
“What is it? Who are you?” asks the protagonist.
The acquaintance leaves him for a good quarter of an hour. The protagonist already ceases to hope for his return and groping begins to make his way to the exit, when suddenly the door opens and a mysterious acquaintance appears in the ceremonial embroidered caftan, rich in a jacket and with a sword, gently takes the hero by the hand and solemnly says: “I am a cavalier Gluck!”