Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the
piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski
After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in
the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.
Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the
concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored
his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about
to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered
that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted
and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on
In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the
keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance,
quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear,
"Don't quit." "Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski
reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass
part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side
of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the
old master and the young novice transformed a frightening
situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The
audience was mesmerized.
That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on
our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the
results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the
hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.
Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen
carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering
in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Feel His loving arms
around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the
concerto of your life.
Who was Paderewski?
lgnace ]an (1860-1941), Polish pianist, composer, and statesman, born in
Podolia, and educated at the Warsaw Conservatory and in Berlin and Vienna.
Shortly after making debuts in Vienna in 1887 and in Paris in 1889, he
established himself as the most popular concert pianist since Franz Liszt
(q.v.), and was especially known for his interpretations of the music of
the Polish composer Frederic Francois Chopin.
Paderewski made the first of his many tours of the United States in 1891.
His compositions include the opera Manru (1901), a symphony, concertos,
and orchestral and piano pieces, among which is his popular Minuet in G.
Between 1910 and 1920 Paderewski devoted himself to the cause of Polish
independence; he aided in organizing a committee for the assistance of
victims of World War I in Poland and made concert tours in the U.S. to
raise funds for Polish relief. After the war he was elected prime minister
and foreign ministering the Polish republic and he held office from
January to November, 1919.
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