Transported on a Tuesday

This evening I was sitting as close to my portable radiator as possible without actually sitting on top of it.  I had been chilly all day.  My last student of the night was playing through his repertoire after several weeks' hiatus.  I was enjoying it; all the little kinks were a joy to work out with a student who is as perceptive, talented and humble as Theodore.  We covered Schumann, Bach, and Mozart with ease.  I praised him honestly and effortlessly; he is really an accomplished musician, and I don't even mind that I can't take credit for it.  It's just a joy to listen to him.

Near the end of the evening, we came to a Bartok piece, one of two recently added to the second volume of the Suzuki repertoire.  I had already commented that Theodore's playing seemed much lighter than previously; his touch was deft, but sure.  Now, suddenly, with the opening chords of the left hand, he was transformed into a master.  The tempo was all wrong, much too slow . . . but no, it drew me in, forced me to accommodate and accept it.  Each chord struck a haunting, mournful timbre; my body suddenly felt warm all over, as if I were feeling the sun's rays for the first time.  I was transfixed, almost frightened by the artistry I saw and heard and felt.

The last notes faded, and silence rang in my ears.  Without moving his fingers from the keys, he shot a look at me, concerned that I hadn't yet chirped my customary words of praise.  And just as suddenly as he had become a virtuoso, he turned back into a boy, eager to impress but not quite sure what to make of the look of astonishment on his teacher's face.

The performer below doesn't hold a candle to my Theodore, but at least you'll hear the empty shell of the music.  Enjoy.