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<<  -- 2 --  Kelly Ferjutz    THE PIANO


On the other hand, the week prior to Belardze's triumph, Monique Plessard, who had made an esteemed career in the impressionistic French repertoire, was suddenly taken ill midway through a perfectly disastrous recital of American music. Declaring herself unable to continue, the management was forced to offer refunds. Mme Plessard would be hard-pressed to find future opportunities as a concert pianist or recitalist. It is probable that she could become a teacher. In another city, perhaps, or under a different name.

Many of these same critics remembered, with great fondness, the appearance of the child prodigy, Simon Wells, who needed an extra pillow on the bench in order to reach the keyboard. He was entirely unable to reach the pedals, but the piano somehow made up for this deficiency by exerting an impossible influence over the ears of the listeners to make them believe they heard the pedals being used. They knew they hadn't, but their ears contradicted them. The nine-year-old who could barely read written words, nevertheless performed exquisite Mozart and rapturous Beethoven. It was not known if he could maintain a long career, but for the moment, his musical future was assured.

Everyone remembered the occasion when Vladimir O'Reilly approached the piano with great trepidation, and after apparently having a congenial chat with the keyboard proceeded to play with great delicacy in the Schumann. Heads turned, and folks nodded to each other. It appeared that his comeback would be successful. But then, the unthinkable happened! A string broke with a loud twang!. The recital came to a halt, and even though a technician appeared with the promise of a speedy repair, the visibly-disturbed O'Reilly could not return. To this day, folks asked, 'Whatever happened to that chap O'Reilly? Has anyone heard from him?' And always, the answer was a solemn, negative shake of the head.

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Copyright © 10 November 2005 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA


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