T H E P I A N O
Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert.
After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.
In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit." "Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.
Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the concerto of your life.
Who was Paderewski?
PADEREWSKI, lgnace ]an (1860-1941), Polish pianist, composer, and statesman, born in Podolia, and educated at the Warsaw Conservatory and in Berlin and Vienna. Shortly after making debuts in Vienna in 1887 and in Paris in 1889, he established himself as the most popular concert pianist since Franz Liszt (q.v.), and was especially known for his interpretations of the music of the Polish composer Frederic Francois Chopin.
Paderewski made the first of his many tours of the United States in 1891. His compositions include the opera Manru (1901), a symphony, concertos, and orchestral and piano pieces, among which is his popular Minuet in G.
Between 1910 and 1920 Paderewski devoted himself to the cause of Polish independence; he aided in organizing a committee for the assistance of victims of World War I in Poland and made concert tours in the U.S. to raise funds for Polish relief. After the war he was elected prime minister and foreign ministering the Polish republic and he held office from January to November, 1919.