These days, with the coronavirus lockdown in place, I have more time than usual on my hands. One result is that I’m playing the piano more.
I remind readers that I am the proud owner of a six-foot Steinway grand piano which I judge to be the most beautiful-sounding instrument I have ever played. I found the piano many years ago in the cocktail lounge at the Kennedy Center. I tried it numerous times, when the regular player was absent, and fell in love with it. The next year, it was gone, replaced by another piano I didn’t like nearly as well. In the long term, I found the same glorious piano again when the Kennedy Center was selling its used pianos, and my daughter, Susan, bought it for me. Where she got the money is another story I’ve told in this blog.
I just had my Steinway tuned, and it is more glorious that ever. It dominates a room with a high ceiling and a two-story wall of windows. The sound in that room is ideal for a piano that size, and I have never enjoyed playing more than now.
But I’m out of practice. In recent years, my writing has taken off. I now have six books and 17 short stories in print, and I have been doing many presentations and readings. Between that and working on two more new novels, for months on end I barely touched the piano.
But, rusty as I am, I am rediscovering the joy of making music. I play music of a variety of composers—all classical—and lean toward the romantics. When I can do it, I listen to my several stereo systems when I’m not playing the piano. Again the composers I favor make for a long list, ranging from the Renaissance to the modern era.
But the older I get, the more I favor two masters: Mozart and Bach.