Sheila von Clavichord was a fabulous concert pianist. She was also a fabulous violinist, although piano was her forte. Her concert tickets always sold out within hours of the booking office opening. The catch was that no one knew when they bought a ticket which of the two instruments she would play. She never played both at the same concert; it was either piano or violin for the whole evening.
Mr. Grant Officer was fortunate enough to lay his hands on a ticket. He turned up to the concert venue with a great deal of anticipation. Would she play violin or piano? The venue filled. The doors were shut. The concert began.
Sheila von Clavichord had barely intoned the second chord of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor when the piano lid crashed down onto her fingers. As the review in the paper the next morning said: She can put the lid on her career. That’ll teach the silly person not to have chosen to play the violin.
The world famous violinist had retired. After years of intense concert after concert, László Jovanović had found a nice cottage near the beach (for walks) and close enough to shops (for convenience). He could play his beloved violin all day (or not) without the pressure of concert preparation.
It’s not that he couldn’t afford a great big mansion by the sea, but he didn’t need it. The little cottage was cosy and much to his liking. And, did I say? it had a rose garden.
Every morning he would get out his second most precious violin and play. (His Stradivarius was safely locked in a bank vault somewhere). It was easy to believe that in the past people would pay heaps of money to hear him play. It was as if the ever-surging sea and his music melded into one. All was good with the universe. Well, it was as if all melded into one until the neighbours complained.
“What’s with the screeching cat next door scratching away? If he must learn an instrument why can’t he play a proper one like a guitar or a banjo? Or even a ukulele?”
László Jovanović never played the violin again. His rose garden was a picture.
Would he come and play his violin? They had heard he was a very good musician. They had put money aside, and once every two weeks someone was invited to talk or give a presentation of some sort.
Two weeks ago they had a visiting heart surgeon speak to them about the latest advances in cardio-vascular research. Of course, a heart surgeon costs the earth, but it was worth every cent, and he also gave a few tips as to how best to look after ones heart.
Before that the local representative of the “Save the Dolphin Society” spoke about the need to protect the rare Hector’s Dolphin against getting caught in fishing nets. He too got paid handsomely for his efforts.
And now, could you come and play your violin? He practised for it all week.
And indeed he did play wonderfully! The applause! And they gave him a lovely thank you card:
Thank you for sharing your gift of music with us all. You have indeed been blessed with a wonderful talent, and it is marvellous to see someone giving so freely of something they enjoy.