Sero Hiki no Goshu
(Gauche the Cellist)
|Synopsis - Page 1|
At the foot of a large mountain, we observe the activities of the inhabitants of this countryside setting. Insects, horses, and yes - people, playing on a bridge over the stream. A cat playfully attacks a tomato in the garden of a nearby house, but the weather quickly turns dark.
As a storm breaks violently, he jumps under the house, but the people on the bridge have no such convenient shelter and there is a frantic dash for home. All over town, people are hiding under shop awnings or seeking out shelter.
Yet, oblivious to the wild weather, a local orchestra concentrates furiously on its rehearsal of Beethoven's "Pastoral" symphony. Matching the ferocity of the storm outside, the conductor is carried away by the elemental energy of the music - until he is brought back to reality by the out-of-tune (and out-of-time) young cellist, Goshu. A young lady playing the viola in a bright kimono sighs impatiently, and the next to earn the conductor’s ire is the oboist. Frustrated by his orchestra, the conductor puts his foot down - literally. As his shoe disappears through the dais, he delivers a stern warning. With only 10 days until their concert, this professional orchestra is in danger of being shown up by their amateur competitors. And Goshu is singled out for some particularly severe criticism. He lags behind the rest as if with untied shoelaces, and is out of tune, and the conductor also senses a certain lack of expressiveness; a lack of emotion. His comments about Goshu’s untied shoelaces hit home when he notices that this is mirrored in reality. The weight of the orchestra’s reputation now seems to bear down on the young man's shoulders, as the rehearsal is concluded. Once the conductor has retrieved his shoe and reminded them of their duties at the movie-house, the orchestra relaxes and heads off for lunch. Though the viola player glances sympathetically in his direction, Goshu feels ashamed to join them. Instead, he is left to play a solitary, melancholy lament to himself.
Returning to his single-roomed home by the stream that night, we see what a simple life Goshu leads - water drunk simply from a stone jar, a loaf of bread - and a poster featuring the stern countenance of Beethoven on the wall, glaring at him as he takes up his cello practice. Transported by the music, he is interrupted by what he supposes is a friend at the door. He is amazed to find that it is the cat, bringing tomatoes as a gift for him to eat. Unfortunately, they are the tomatoes from his own field - and picked while unripe. Although told off for poaching tomatoes, the cat moves on to other subjects - namely, music. Noticing the poster on the wall, the cat advises that Beethoven is always difficult, and that Goshu should maybe start with something a little easier - say, some Schumann. After all, he can't sleep without the familiar strains of cello music coming from the house.