For My Mother (for Trifecta)

It’s Trifecta Weekly Challenge time. Entries must be between 33 & 333 words and need to include the following word using its 3rd definition (below).

thun·der noun \ˈthən-dər\

3: bang, rumble <the thunder of big guns>

* * * * * * * * * *

For My Mother

* * * * * * * * * *

She took a moment to collect herself in the great hall amidst the deafening silence. All eyes were upon her as she straightened her spine, reached her fingers toward the keys and poised them to begin. A little more nervous than she expected to be, she was glad she had elected to go with an old friend, Chopin’s Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Opus 9, Number 2, to accompany her on this momentous occasion. She knew she would own that four minutes.

And she began to play.

It took only thirty seconds for her to lose herself completely in the piece. The repeating melody always held her … with its haunting legato articulation and its graceful and sometimes even unstructured rhythm. She knew she had to learn it the first time she heard it years ago as a child.

She was about halfway in when she heard the coughing attack coming from the third row. It nearly unnerved her but she managed to regain her focus before striking anything in error or losing her cadence. “Shut up, old man!” she wanted to scream, but she maintained her composure and moved on to the final repetition of the melody. She gathered herself, in preparation of the piece’s most elaborate tones and trills. She executed these sections flawlessly as the dynamics of the composition ascended to fortissimo and reached its peak.

She exhaled with the realization that the most complicated portion was behind her and advanced into its coda, bringing the piece back down to its almost pianissimo conclusion.

Her eyes were closed as her fingers pressed the final notes. For ten seconds, she could only hear the sound of her own breathing. Then suddenly, from the darkness surrounding her, there came a shattering thunder of applause as the audience leapt to its feet to show its demonstrative approval and appreciation for the artistry on the stage before them.

* * * * * * * * * *

I love you, Mom.

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22 responses to “For My Mother (for Trifecta)

  1. This piece is just…breath taking. Your choice of words and the construction of them into sentences is phenomenal. “The repeating melody always held her … with its haunting legato articulation and its graceful and sometimes even unstructured rhythm. ” is just one of the many sentences in this piece that make it so easy to read. It almost feels like I was listening to you play the piano the way it flowed. Bravo, Michele!

  2. Having performed in many recitals as a child, I know just what you mean about that disruption from the audience that breaks your focus. Well done.

  3. This is a very nice description of a piece of music and a musical performance. Now, I only need to look up that Chopin piece to complete the experience. 🙂

  4. Just beautiful. I have to ask – is your mother the pianist, or in the audience? It felt like you were playing (writing) for her alone, and we were lucky enough to listen in.

    • She is a pianist … as was my grandmother and my great grandmother. I can best described as a “piano player.” Pianist will likely never be part of my resume.

      This song is one of her signature pieces.

      Thank you for your kinds words.

  5. Very nice to have done this for your mom. I like the pause, when she almost tells him to shut up. Always nice work ODNT.

  6. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. Just like you.

  7. Great imagery–I loved the annoyance she felt over the old man in the audience, I imagine that would annoy any performer! One of the things I have always admired about concert performers is that they never look stressed, they never look like any part of the performance makes them nervous, like how your mom relaxed once she passed the more complicated portion–I bet very few people noticed if she was straining through the earlier part at all.

  8. Nailed it, ODNT.
    And a great piece of music!

  9. Such a sweet piece about your mom. I laughed at the part with the coughing old man. I’d want to tell him to cut it out, too 🙂

  10. Thank you for linking up to Trifecta this week. I love this response. Such smart, careful writing that is just filled with emotion. It’s a hard thing to pull off, and I think you’ve done it well. Nice work. Hope to see you back again soon.

  11. This was so beautifully written. And listening to the song made me cry a little – I played it a lot for my daughter when she was a newborn but haven’t heard it in about 2 years.

  12. Beautiful story. Standing “O” for the pianist and writer.

  13. I thank you, along with Ruthie and Birdye. I’ll send you a Chopin Étude that Ruthie played flawlessly. Wow!!!!!!!

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