Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Summer 1962, at the music theater in Nyack, I shared a six-bedroom house with many other theater employees. One of them was George Finkel, the cello professor at Bennington College. One Wednesday night the household decided to go across the river into New York City for a night of drinking. I was not invited because I was deemed to be too young for this event. George had to stay home also because his wife said he had already had too much to drink.

After the revelers left George went upstairs. I turned off the lights and sat in a corner of the livingroom, staring out an open window at the full moon and smelling the scent of honeysuckles. Then I heard George coming down the stairs. He was carrying his cello and a glass of whiskey. He didn't see me. He sat down in a straight backed chair in front of the fire place, set the glass down on the floor and positioned his cello.

There, in the darkness and the moonlight, he sat and played by heart all the Bach cello concertos - with such feeling and such virtuosity - I left time and was in Eternity. I can still be there.


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