excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 31–32 (295 words)

excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 31–32 (295 words)

part of

Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

31–32

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text excerpt

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I remained unprogressively under [Miss B.’s] musical care for some two years, during which time I had the first great pianistic experience of my life; she had persuaded my mother to let her take me over to Liverpool to hear Paderewski.

                I remember that Saturday afternoon vividly.  The (old) Liverpool Philharmonic Hall – since burnt down – was filled to capacity.  It was also filled, I noticed, with a murky haze, which was not altogether pleasing to my nostrils but which was soon forgotten when Paderewski began to play.  He was thirty-one at the time and, with his great mop of auburn hair, was at the height of his popularity.  I cannot give an account of that recital for obvious reasons, I can only say that it clinched my resolve to become a musician – and a long-haired one at that!  […]

                Strange to say it was through this recital that I indirectly made a discovery.  Great artist though he was, Paderewski had a deplorable habit of preluding all his items with the dominant seventh chord of the key in which he was about to play.  In the days when I first heard him in Liverpool, his Minuet in G had become a popular piece and he would often give it as an encore, in fact he did so at that very recital.  On our way home I said to Miss B, ‘I knew he was going to play his Minuet.’  ‘How could you know?’ she asked.  ‘Because of those chords he played in the key of G beforehand.’  ‘Good Gracious!’ she exclaimed, ‘that means you’ve got absolute pitch!’ – which was quite true, though its possession is a mixed blessing.    

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excerpt from 'Bone of Contention: Life Story and Confessions' pp. 31–32 (295 words)

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