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Faces: Chapter 6

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Vasily was 26 when he met Piotr Ilyich. Two weeks after, Vasily conducted a choral concert with his Choir, and the program included some of his own compositions. Piotr Ilyich was so impressed that immediately that night he vowed to get him a conducting position in the best Theatres of Moscow.
He got a letter from Piotr Ilyich:

Dear Vasily Sergeyevich,
I am overjoyed to inform you that I have recommended you to the officials of the Maly Theatre Orchestra, who have been looking for a conductor for some time. Because of your own association with them as a performer, you have high regard, and with my recommendation, they have decided to consider you! Very soon you will be asked to interview with them, and I think they won't be displeased. I've greatly desired your welfare of late, and I hope this position may put you and your family in good standings from now on. Until we meet again,
I embrace you!
Piotr Ilyich

Vasily was so stunned at this that he nearly forgot to tell Irina, but but she found out herself from looking at the letter. It was within a few days that Vasily got his invitation for an interview.
At the age of 26, Vasily became the youngest conductor ever of the Maly Theatre Orchestra.
What a strange feeling it was to take his place in front of all his colleagues of the past.
Vasily had skill like no other. He knew exactly what he wanted from every player, but he was never dogmatic. He seemed almost incapable of demanding anything from everyone, but always asked the players to do things. In this way, he gained immense amount of respect despite his young age.
It was in the summer than he took this position before he got another one. The Moscow Italian Theater had heard about his expertise, and he was immediately begged to be the director there in the fall. By this time, Vasily quit all his performance positions and only conducted.
For the first time in his life, Vasily found himself in better straights.
"I'm so grateful to God for doing this to me. I have suffered for a long time, and now He has blessed me," he was speaking to Irina one warm August evening. They were sitting together by a canal near their home. They hadn't moved out of Vasily's apartment, but they refurbished it quite nicely since then.
"Yes, I'm very happy for all of this," Irina put her head on his shoulder. "God has answered our prayers. And all we can do is be grateful. But do you think you'll have time enough to compose?"
"I sure think so. Two jobs may seem tough, but I was having five before, and still had the time. Now I should have more time than ever. And you won't have to work," he turned her face to his own. "Have you thought about that?"
"I have," she turned dreamily over to the water. "I've always wondered... but Vasya... don't push yourself too much. You can dismiss one of them if it's too much."
"Yes, but then you would have to work. Perhaps it's time we thought to start a family."
Irina looked up at him in surprise. "You mean it?"
"I do."
Irina was quiet for a while in thought.
"Wait a little still Vasya... until all is secure."
"I see," Vasya held her close to himself, "No matter what, Irina, I will always love you. You know that?"
"I do," she smiled at him.
He was truly happy.

The performance program was very hectic for the Maly Theatre, which required at least 3 performances a week. While Vasily was a performer, he knew this kind of life, but as a conductor, it required a lot more time than he expected. Working out the parts had to be done at home too as well as at rehearsal, and it could take hours, more than it took to practice regular music. When fall arrived, Vasily had 6 performances a week, and often at irregular times.

The weather began to turn cold...