The Piano Tuner

This time it happened to me inversely; hearing a piece reminded me of a book.

Ravel’s piano concerto for the left hand:

A dark, intriguing opening, like the foggy England where the hero considers that mysterious invitation…

Maybe it’s his uneventful life, maybe it’s the prospect of adventure that lead him to embark. But it’s the calling of the piano that tempts and draws him deeper and deeper in the jungle…
It is a long expedition and he is eager to arrive.

5:08 Arrival at the exotic place but days spent in solitude, working on the piano, meticulously tuning it note by note, carefully observing it and thinking of his life…

6:55 Days pass for he delays his departure, he explores, he changes.

Months pass and his stay in Burma, dangers and adventures, all feel like a dream.
Persisting through difficulties, happy times, he plays the piano…
Delights of the orient, where nature and people are savage but pure…rythms, marches and dances…a new world has opened for him and he realises he may not want to leave anymore…

13:56 Yet what about his wife, his life back in England?

17:11 Enemies approach the fort, an attack is imminent…will the truce hold?


Interesting fact: the piece was written by Ravel for Paul Wittgenstein, a pianist who lost his right arm during World War I. Paul was the brother of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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