Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chopin and Artur Rubinstein - Only Once Per Lifetime

I was witness to an inner experience the likes of which can never be replicated.
Artur Rubinstein, nearing the end of an eighty year career, was giving an all - Chopin recital, one of many I had experienced, by this towering musician.
About half-way into the program, as he was playing one of the Nocturnes, something happened within me, totally indefinable, that instigated the onset of tears rolling down my cheeks; tears without a sob or any other reaction from within me. Tears, not in a torrent, but in a gentle downward trickle. Something in his message created a response which I had never anticipated nor repeated thereafter.
After the recital ( and I had gone alone to this particular recital), I was in absolute consternation about what had occurred, and why.
Some weeks after, an answer came to me, and to this day I cannot improve upon that admittedly speculative answer:
Rubinstein, at this point in his wonderfully lengthy and immortal adventure, had been performing the music of Chopin for a period longer than the actual complete life - cycle of the composer himself, and had found ways of the kinds of discovery that perhaps Chopin could not possibly have contemplated in such a short life.
Is it possible for a performer to discover elemental and innate phases within a piece of music that the creator himself could not have known, simply due to the degrees of difference in eclectic response between composer and performer?
Be reminded that Rubinstein played and lived with Chopin's music for about 80 years; the composer lived into his 39th year.
Was this revelation the cause of the tears I could not possibly have anticipated?



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