A few months ago my friends invited me to a piano concert: “The Last Sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert” played by a world-renown pianist Sir András Schiff. I enjoy classical music, but I’m far from being a connoisseur. Deep down I was afraid I’d be stuck for three hours listing to some depressing, end-of-one’s-life music written often at the time of sickness and destitution. But I went along. As we sat down in our seats, I began feeling guilty for wanting to leave, or to take a nap, or at least to eat that dark chocolate cookie that I sneaked in. As the lights dimmed, my inner peace was taking a vacation elsewhere.
Sir Schiff—clad in all black that accentuated his Albert Einstein inspired silver hairdo—walked to the middle of the stage, bowed to the anticipating audience, and sat down at the grand piano. He gently placed his fingers on the keys and paused. The concert hall fell silent: no hushed sounds, no wiggling in the seats, no rustling of the program’s pages. There were only two of them. The master and his instrument. Two figures in black. Two partners about to begin an intimate rendezvous. And us, the audience, with eyes glued to the scene.
And then Sir Schiff stroke the first keys. I forgot promptly about my guilt (of wanting to doze off) and my guilty pleasures (the cookie). I thought about the undeniable talent of the composers and the pianist and how privileged I was to experience it. I laughed at myself for fearing the unknown only to truly enjoying it. I also thought that each of them must have studied, practiced, and performed 7-10 hours a day, maybe more, probably with no days off.
“When you knock on the door of success, it’s work that opens it,” someone said. Isn’t that true? Listening to the flow of notes created and performed by people who responded to the calls of their souls despite all difficulties and excuses (and the melting chocolate cookies) inspired me to get back to my own craft—creative writing. I’ll write a story when I get back home! My inner peace came back.
But the experience at the concert wasn’t only inspirational. As I watched in an almost hypnotic state the pianist’s long fingers caressing gently, stroking urgently, pressing hard, and gliding along the smooth and shiny ivory and black keys, I got turned on. Really on. Oh-oh, what if Sir Schiff, who was rocking back and forth rhythmically, was making delicious love right in front of our eyes? A mischievous smile danced on my lips:
I should go to classical music concerts for both spiritual and erotic experiences more often. And next time I’ll bring a vibrator instead of a cookie!
Photo credit: Maurice.