fiction by Tamar Ben-Ozer

The Miscreants

I played Bach’s Prelude in C Major on Mrs. Z.’s piano this afternoon. Mrs. Z. is our downstairs neighbor, and she’s old, maybe 70. Since we don’t have a piano at home, she lets me come over on weekdays to practice on her crumbling baby grand. Her husband died two years ago, in 1945, and their children all left for Palestine with their spouses and kids. She rarely leaves the house anymore because of her Parkinson’s, so I’m pretty much the only person she talks to most days. I sang while I played, Gounod’s “Ave Maria”, just like Miss Weil showed me during yesterday’s lesson. Hear how Bach’s Germanic harmonies sit perfectly underneath Gounod’s French melody. Baroque and Romanticism perfectly entwined, reckless emotion and meticulous structure in flawless symbiosis. I sat still for a long time, quietly contemplating the two partitures in front of me.

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.