Cosmé McMoon the Accompanist

Took in  a very rare movie night last evening.  We snuck out of the house, went down to the old Metro Theater and watched the Florence Foster Jenkins movie with Streep, Grant and Helberg (portraying Cosmé McMoon) the accompanist.  I liked this character a lot.

Grant portrayed Jenkin's husband, a mediocre actor who thought himself grand, but accepted a roll as caretaker/protector/impresario in support of Ms. Jenkins who had money and no talent but a never ending prima donna good heart. There were drop ins by Toscanini and Carlo Edwards (the Met Opera assistant conductor) and a lot of critics, Drew Pearson being the one who unraveled the dream world of the rich pretender.
Ms. Jenkins had a good heart. Cosmé McMoon, her accompanist, was the gem, to me anyway. His character summed up with the statement "I played in Carnegie Hall".  McMoon was by all accounts a fair to middlin' pianist.  He might never have made it to that stage if it weren't for the other two and that is why I am drawn to his character.


He was good. Not great. He was better than many of the people he helped, assumed nothing and was grateful for everything. He performed out of the love of music and loyalty to those he was helping - he was the guest who brings food to the party and stays after to help clean up.

My conducting teacher was the musical director of the Ballet Russe and prior to that, an active member of the NYC art scene.  He was friends with Toscanini and ran in that circle. He knew Ms. Jenkins because he went to her for money.  I don't think he would have known McMoon although when we discussed Ms. Jenkins, he was aware of Cosmé but thought he no longer played. That was it.  Nothing else. 

It is interesting to think of those who have talent, not great but good, and how their lives are buffeted around like billiard balls until they find a nice safe pocket.  

See the movie.