A mistake, which nobody heard

september 8, 2017

Juliette sat in the hall. She was surrounded at least by thousand people, excited whispering, rustling of the brochures and creaking noise of the several hundred years old chairs would have meant a pleasant buzz for anyone, but all this never reached her. She was soaking up the spectacle with widely open eyes, the sparkling of the chandeliers, the vivid colours of the frescos, the velvet burgundy colours of the curtain and of course the orchestra discreetly tuning in the orchestra pit!

Ever since she was a little girl, she was obsessed with Beethoven and the Appassionata, which according to her was the most amazing piece of the composer. Whenever she remembered the diverse pearlings, she always felt so close to the composer suffering from deafness, who had to lose whatever was the most important for him in life.

When the curtains were pulled apart and the pianist walked on stage, the eyes of Juliette were drowned in tears. She could not believe that finally, first time in her life she can enjoy the performance in live, and on the stage of the Paris Opera Palais Garnier. She tried to discreetly dry up her tears with a tissue, as she didn’t want to miss any moment. She was gazing in fascination at the fingers of the pianist, who to start with was touching the keys very gently, exchanging romantic kisses with the keyboard, and later on more intensely playing faster and trickier versions, as if he would have been dancing enthusiastically with the music. The artist closed his eyes while playing, but Juliette didn’t dare to close hers not even for a second. Similarly to her childhood, when she first heard in the study of her father, she felt again the same thing: music takes her to an unknown world. The first, fast part grabbed her like a fast-flowing river, there is no way of escaping, it is taking her and throwing her up and down, sometimes her head is out of the water, sometimes under, she doesn’t even know anymore which way is the blue sky… And then the water throws her off the cliff, so that she can pop in the lower calm lake in a purified, reborn and refreshed condition. The second, slower part cradled her; let her to lay on its back while the rays of sunlight where gently touching her face. Later on, when she got bigger she read several studies about the goals of the composer with this music, but even though she respected the music scientists, she always felt that nobody truly understood the composer. This separate world was their secret: a secret agreement between her and Beethoven, namely that no one can have a look at the little lake. In the end this was not the only thing they had in common. Therefore could she be so enthusiastic here, even if she had to go through a lot of pain in the outside world.

The third part wasn’t so peaceful and Juliette was uncomfortably fidgeting on her chair. For her, this part always meant that her persecutors, who chased her to the river, found her: they grab her from the lake to take her with them and they wanted to take away from her the most important thing that really mattered to her, namely her love for music, which she inherited from her father. This part of the piece was bitter-sweet for her, as this was the last one she heard in her life. When her illness got worse, she played this piece to herself many many times, and every time she felt that it was taking away another piece of her hearing. When the last voices died off, the world became silent to her forever, but she could easily play it in her mind or on her piano at any time. But nothing was as beautiful as sitting here and looking at the pianist, gazing at him with widely opened eyes and noticing, nearly hearing when his finger shook a little bit at one of the notes of the last part and when he extended the pause by one hundreds of a second. This was their little secret, and from this knowledge she felt like as if she would have given her hearing back for a day.

She felt that finally she found peace: right now the last part became also comforting for her, all sadness disappeared.


Tímea Barkóczi: Appassionata


Nagy Tímea  *  webszovegek.hu.  *  +36 30 381 6721

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