September 14, 2015 Eddie Shanahan


Mozart on the Metro

It is just before 9 a.m. in Milan. I have walked in warm sunshine down the Via Manzoni, past a silent La Scala and into the morning quiet of the Duomo square.

”A man is playing Mozart on the Metro… a welcome counterpoint to the roar of metal on metal…”

Two tiers of steps later I am in the Metro station, taking the S1 line in the direction of RHO Fiera. The air is cool in the tunnels. The carriages rattle in a strange rhythm. Commuters sway in the aisles. Strangers look down.

After two stops the sound of vaguely familiar music drifts from somewhere distant. A man is playing Mozart on the Metro. He glides and weaves through the passengers. His bow draws a classic favourite from a well cared for violin. The Concerto No. 21 is a welcome counterpoint to the roar of metal on metal, as the steel wheels thunder and sway.

Images of Elvira Madigan flicker in the mind’s eye – moving pictures, artistic and cinematic, from the most beautiful film ever made. The camera often moving in contra flow to the action, catches the listless days of summer, the intoxication of love and a lovers pact that ends in tragedy.

The brakes screech and gasp, jarring us back to reality. Doors open, people smile, he smiles back. The musician bows and graciously takes his leave.