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<<  -- 4 --  Jennifer Paull    REMINISCENT RETROSPECTIVES


One week later, we were to perform the Christmas Oratorio again, this time at Yverdon-les-Bains, a thermal resort in the west part of the Swiss Romande. I remember having many thoughts during that week about the plight of wind players and temperature changes in general, and possible catastrophes in particular. Would the people in a place known for its waters be more generous if this happened to me again with less luck, and more Murphy?

This time, we were playing inside a big church. There was a little girl of about 10 in the front pew. Her father had placed his arm very protectively around her shoulders. I couldn't help notice her because she was rocking and moving throughout the performance . It was clear that she suffered from a handicap. She made little sighs and sometimes buried her face in her father's chest and hugged him.

I stepped forward to play. One cannot help but relive previous moments. No matter how many times I have played in The Rite of Spring since my earring fell off, I will forever blush at the memory when I get to the same place in the score. Would last week's plumbing crisis take me over?

Everything went smoothly. I looked at the little girl. I shall never ever forget her face. She sat there, totally still and silent, with a deep, genuine smile of happiness. How lucky I had been to be part of the music that brought Bach's message of joy and beauty to touch her heart. Was there greater satisfaction than this? I don't think so.

Copyright © 1 February 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland





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