Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Albert Schweitzer: The Hands of the Master

In the story about the life of Albert Schweitzer his biographer said that each night in the hospital in Africa the great doctor would announce a hymn and walk over to the old piano and play.

The piano was fifty years old. The keyboard was badly stained. Large screws fastened the ivory to every note. One or two strings were missing and the humid conditions made it impossible to keep the piano in tune.

But now one of the world’s great musicians sits down. The greatest living interpreter of Bach’s music begins to play the dilapidated old instrument.

Norman Cousins said, “The amazing thing was that the piano seemed to lose its poverty in Schweitzer’s hands. Its tinniness and clattering echoes seemed subdued. Its capacity to yield fine music was now being fully realized.”

Image: Albert Schweitzer.