By Kona Macphee

From the final, faultless premiere (those rich necks chilled by his swansong Sixth, that requiescat quaking the trombones), the portents swelled in crescendo premonition:

the dinners with old friends; the creamy taper of his last baton, laid to its satined bed like the long shank of a pale and lovely boy;

the subtle prescience of future crowds whose ghostly tribute massed on Nevsky Prospect;

the secret life in a clear glass of water.

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