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On a Crash Of Chords

During a performance of Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Opus 4, by Frederic Chopin. Garrick Ohlsson, piano.

We submit to the sweet assault of Chopin's sound. The Steinway is no more than four yards across the stage from where we sit. Good view of Ohlsson's shoes - right foot nursing the sustaining pedal. (The fling of his fingers is just out of our sight.) The black shoes' silences touch and turn beneath the sonata's iridescence, inaudible guests of the energy of those invisible hands.

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Once in the final presto on a crash of chords, Ohlsson's left leg sweeps suddenly back. But his right foot never strays from its slow smiling flow of silent, cursive rhythms sustaining, sustaining....