excerpt from 'Cellist- Gregor Piatigorsky' pp. 177 (297 words)

excerpt from 'Cellist- Gregor Piatigorsky' pp. 177 (297 words)

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Cellist- Gregor Piatigorsky

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The tall man [Richard Hageman] took his coat off, revealing a full dress. “What are we playing tonight?” he asked with an engaging smile. I handed him a brief case full of music. He looked through it. “I played the Beethoven Variations once-also the Strauss Sonata, though a very long time ago,” he said. “Is there anything special you do in those works?” / “No, just as they are written,” I said, trying to appear calm. Even under normal circumstances my nervousness before a concert was enormous. Now it was barely controlable. No wonder. To play a recital in Vienna with a man I had never seen before! / While I dressed, Hageman kept going through the music- the Boccherini and Debussy sonatas and other pieces. There were no questions, and by the time I was dressed the heavy silence was broken by the waiter bringing us tea and sandwiches. / The big concert hall was near the hotel, and we decided to walk. / “This is just what I need,” said Hageman, going straight to the piano in the artists’ room. “I can practice while you play the Bach. How long is the suite?”. / "I don’t know, but I won’t omit a single repeat.” / Soon I walked on the stage with a pianist with whom I had never had the slightest musical contact. / The miracle happened. From the first note it was as though we had played together for years. Such anticipation and understanding could rarely be achieved by many rehearsals and words. The great experience was unique also in another sense, for though in years to come I had the pleasure of Richard’s friendship, we never played together again.

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excerpt from 'Cellist- Gregor Piatigorsky' pp. 177 (297 words)


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