Music | #3

by Elouise

Van Cliburn performing in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory during the First Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1958

Van Cliburn performing in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory during the First Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1958

I’m out with D, my temporary chauffeur, for a quick trip to *Raider Joe’s, aka Trader Joe’s. On our way home, heavenly music begins pouring out of the car radio. When I get into the house I turn on the radio to listen to the entire piece….

#3
Music from heaven
Washes over my soul and body
Soothing beauty from angelic fingers

It’s Van Cliburn playing Tchaikowsky’s Piano Concerto #1. The 2nd movement washes over the shore of my heart and body. Calm tenderness captured between opening and closing movements vibrant with grace, precision and freedom.

Today is April 13, the day on which Van Cliburn, a citizen of the USA, won the First Tchaikovsky International Competition, held in Moscow during the Cold War. This was one of two pieces he performed in the final round.

I still remember hearing the news. It was 1958, and I was 14 years old. This was my first vision of heaven’s music. Fingers, like angels, flitting around at will, easing into the cracks and pain of my universe, reminding me that all will one day be well.

The sun is out, spring is everywhere, there’s music in the air, and it’s the 58th year anniversary of Van Cliburn’s award-winning performance. What more could my heart want?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 April 2016
Photo from kttz.org
*Credit to DAFraser for this alternate name