Grumpetso's Finale

The very last piano recital ever given by the world-famous Peruvian virtuoso Jose Grumpetso resulted in an unpleasant incident of which I was the cause. Grumpetso had technique to burn and every accent, even in the most turbulent passages, was delicate, for he had a chameleonlike ability to subsume himself in the music.

Nevertheless, as I listened to him I became bored and thought Beethoven's third movement stunk and was disgusted by his toying with it. I made up my mind to do something about it. I waited until there was a momentary pause in the music and began clapping as though it were the end of the piece and called out "Bravo! Bravo!" A few others, unaware that the music was to continue, also began clapping but stopped, and were embarrassed, when the rest of the audience failed to join them in the applause.

The disturbance must have woken Grumpetso from his dreamlike state for he hit a couple of wrong notes. He never truly regained his composure and the rest of the performance was a disaster. Not surprisingly, at the end of the concert, I was attacked and abused, but I showed not an atom of repentance and I still don't. And that was the end of Grumpetso. Whatever happened to him, I wouldn't have a clue, and what's more, I couldn't care less because I couldn't stand his Beethoven.

Previous | Top | Home | Next