Rachmaninoff Opus 2

The time has come for new beginnings. Being born again is a daily endeavor, a daily emergence. Then upon occasion the blessed event is far more than it might otherwise be intended or expected to be. Another beginning hoves into view. It might be an iceberg or open water. It might be a harbor or open sea. It might be the treasure or bankruptcy that brings fiscal liberation either way. Whatever way, it is known for what it is and brings a feeling without precise understanding.

Beginnings must be that way. Only the ending knows the ending and brings understanding, despite questions never to be answered.

I can give you an example.

Years ago I walked into a room and heard Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto in C Minor playing, the second movement adagio sostenuto to be precise and it opened for me he next forty years of my life. Melancholy years. Abrupt endings and heart rending disappointments, all very romantic to be sure and the kind of rhapsody that either kills a man or makes him strong, to quote the philosopher.

It ends full of passion. Then comes the silence, the applause if indeed the performance has been done well after the final movement and now, yes now, the encore.

The new beginning.

It isn’t on the program. The audience doesn’t deserve it. They’ve been given enough. There is never enough time to play all the music in the repertoire, but now for the pure enjoyment of sitting at the keyboard comes the new beginning.

It will contain some of the same notes to be sure. There are only so many keys on the keyboard, so many notes on the chromatic scale, but either you use them or you don’t. Either you command the vocabulary or you won’t and of course there is no question.

The new beginning has come. The Symphonic Dances that speak no longer of the past, but the future yet to be experienced and if the past is of any use, it will open with all he fury and verve, all the pent up reality that made the first part of the program so memorable.

They will walk into the streets, the concert over, amazed and feeling somewhat guilty for returning to their lives of normal toil and labor. Perhaps there are artists among those who listen to the new beginning drawn to its final thrill. They will have stood and applauded until their hands hurt from the effort and the performance at a close the deep bow will be taken from which there is no appeal.

So be it.

Let the new beginning begin. Let the curtain stay a while suspended high above the stage and lets have fun with the mastery we have attained in bringing all together every last drop of essential life we have been given.

Ride this wild horse into the stable and put it up wet.

Ride it out into the sunrise.

Leave the darkness far behind.